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Friday, October 08, 2010

Leavy Leaves OppFunds for BlackRock

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Chris Leavy has left his post as chief investment officer of equities at OppenheimerFunds [view profile] to join BlackRock [view profile], where he will take on a newly created position. Leavy will serve as chief investment officer of U.S. fundamental equity, directing investment personnel and business strategy for the New York firm's $80 billion equity business. He will report to Quintin Price, head of and global chief investment officer for fundamental equity.

Over at OppenheimerFunds, the firm elevated Art Steinmetz, who has served as chief investment officer for fixed income since 2009, to the role of chief investment officer. In his expanded role, Steinmetz replaces Leavy.

Meanwhile, George Evans, senior vice president and director of international equities, will take on the additional role of director for all equity investment teams.

OppenheimerFunds also named Krishna Memani director of fixed income.
Press Release from BlackRock

BlackRock Adds CIO for U.S. Fundamental Equity; Chris Leavy Joins Firm in Newly Created Position

New York, October 6, 2010 - BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) today announced that Chris Leavy will join the Company as Chief Investment Officer of U.S. Fundamental Equity – a newly created position. Most recently, Mr. Leavy served as Chief Investment Officer of Equities at OppenheimerFunds, directing investment personnel and business strategy for the firm’s $80 billion equity business.

In his new role, Mr. Leavy will be responsible for overseeing BlackRock’s $150 billion U.S.-based fundamental equity business. He will partner with BlackRock’s investment professionals and other areas of the firm to help deliver strong investment performance to clients.

Mr. Leavy will report to Quintin Price, Head of and Global Chief Investment Officer for Fundamental Equity, who has overall responsibility for management of this business.

"Chris Leavy is a strong and seasoned investment professional who has distinguished himself both as a portfolio manager and by his direction of one of our industry's leading equity businesses," said Mr. Price. "Chris' investment insight and track record, combined with his management experience, will be invaluable to BlackRock as we seek to enhance our fundamental equity business and continue to deliver the best of BlackRock to our clients."

At OppenheimerFunds, Mr. Leavy also served as Head of the Value Equity Group from 2000 to 2006. Before that, he managed the Value Equity Group's flagship Value Fund and achieved top quintile performance within the large cap peer group.

Before joining OppenheimerFunds, Mr. Leavy led a four person investment team at Morgan Stanley Asset Management with responsibility for large cap core equity portfolios totaling $6 billion.

He holds a B.A. in Economics from Trinity University, San Antonio, and an MBA from Columbia Business School. About BlackRock

BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At June 30, 2010, BlackRock's AUM was $3.151 trillion. BlackRock offers products that span the risk spectrum to meet clients' needs, including active, enhanced and index strategies across markets and asset classes. Products are offered in a variety of structures including separate accounts, mutual funds, iShares® (exchange traded funds), and other pooled investment vehicles. BlackRock also offers risk management, advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of institutional investors through BlackRock Solutions®. Headquartered in New York City, as of June 30, 2010, the firm has approximately 8,500 employees in 24 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East and Africa. For additional information, please visit the Company's website at www.blackrock.com.

Press Release from OppenheimerFunds

OppenheimerFunds Promotes Steinmetz, Evans and Memani to New Senior Investment Roles

NEW YORK (October 6, 2010) – OppenheimerFunds, Inc. announced today that Art Steinmetz has been promoted to Chief Investment Officer. The firm also announced that George Evans has been named Director, Equities, and Krishna Memani has been named Director, Fixed Income. These senior-level promotions within the firm's investment management group become effective immediately.

Mr. Steinmetz, who holds the title of Executive Vice President and joined OppenheimerFunds in 1986, has served as Chief Investment Officer, Fixed Income, since 2009. His role has been expanded to assume responsibility for overseeing all Equities and Fixed Income investment capabilities including investment strategy, strategic planning and personnel. He will continue to serve as co-manager of Oppenheimer International Bond Fund, Oppenheimer Global Strategic Income Fund and Oppenheimer Global Allocation Fund. In this expanded role, Mr. Steinmetz replaces Christopher Leavy, former head of Equities, who is leaving OppenheimerFunds to join another organization.

"Art Steinmetz is widely recognized as an innovator in our industry and one of its most successful portfolio managers," said Bill Glavin, CEO of OppenheimerFunds. "During his nearly 25 years at OppenheimerFunds, he has proven himself to be not only a truly gifted investment manager, but also a strong leader of people and teams. I look forward to working together with Art in his new role and congratulate him on a well-deserved promotion."

Mr. Evans, Senior Vice President and Director of International Equities, will assume the additional role of Director for all Equity investment teams. He will continue to serve as Portfolio Manager of Oppenheimer International Growth Fund and Oppenheimer International Diversified Fund, and will join Mr. Steinmetz and Mr. Memani as co-manager of Oppenheimer Global Allocation Fund. He joined OppenheimerFunds in 1990.

As Director, Fixed Income, Mr. Memani will continue to be responsible for the portfolio management of the firm's investment grade strategies, including Oppenheimer Core Bond Fund, Oppenheimer U.S. Government Trust and Oppenheimer Limited-Term Government Fund. Mr. Memani, Senior Vice President, joined OppenheimerFunds in 2009.

"George and Krishna have made invaluable contributions to OppenheimerFunds and their leadership of our Equity and Fixed Income investment teams will help pave the way for Art to transition successfully into his expanded role," added Mr. Glavin. "With George and Krishna working in concert with Art, I believe our senior investment management leadership team sets the standard for the industry."

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