A 13-year veteran of BlackRock, who rose to become head of Scientific Australian Equities and then head of investment strategy, has resigned following the payment of annual bonuses.
Ken Liow, who became BlackRock’s most senior investment professional in Australia following the departure of Morry Waked from the ‘Barclays side’ of the 2009 merger, is taking a career break to return to university.
He will study a dual master in international studies, majoring in arts and international finance, according to the local head of BlackRock’s scientific active equities team, Michael McCorry.
Over the weekend, Liow updated his LinkedIn status to read: “Starving Middle-Aged Student at the University of Life”.
McCorry said Liow would not be immediately replaced in the investment strategy role, which is part of the investment team but also involves a lot of client-facing work. McCorry said he would take over most of that workload, and leave Liow’s position open for now.
“There’s every possibility he’ll come back to BlackRock at the conclusion of his study, or he might go work for the International Red Cross – Ken’s got a real passion for international politics so it could go either way,” McCorry said.
The 11-person investment team who’ll remain after Liow’s departure were recording decent performance numbers, McCorry said. BlackRock’s Australian Alpha Tilts fund scraped into the top quartile over the year to January 31 on the latest Mercer Long-Only Australian Equity performance survey.