BlackRock announced on Monday that it had appointed Geraldine Buckingham as chair and head of BlackRock Asia Pacific, effective in February 2019.
The appointment will see Buckingham, who currently serves as the asset management giant’s global head of corporate strategy, relocating to Hong Kong to take up her new position. Buckingham is also a member of the firm’s Global Executive Committee
McKinsey Veteran to Run APAC Operation
“Asia-Pacific is one of BlackRock’s most critical priorities,” Laurence D. Fink, BlackRock’s chairman and CEO said in a statement. Fink added that, ““Geraldine has earned respect around the globe for her deep insights and understanding of our industry and our clients’ needs, particularly in Asia Pacific. She helped develop the firm’s long-term growth strategy for China, and has been a key voice in our strategy for retirement, wealth, alternatives and sustainable investing.”
Buckingham, who joined BlackRock from consulting firm McKinsey in 2014, will be succeeding the company’s current APAC chief, Ryan Stork, who will be returning to New York to become the BlackRock’s deputy global chief operating officer, with that appointment also set to take effect in February.
The news of the change in APAC leadership at the Manhattan-based firm comes just less than one year after BlackRock announced the appointment of former Barclays Bank executive Deborah Ho as its new head of Southeast Asia based in Singapore. In March of this year, the firm named Connie Peng as its new head of real estate for mainland China.
“I am thrilled to be taking on this new challenge and will maintain a sharp focus on current priorities, while capitalizing on major growth opportunities to deliver the right mix of investment strategies for our clients,” Buckingham said in the company statement.
BlackRock Expanding Asia Business
BlackRock has been an active player in Asia’s real estate markets this year, with the firm buying a pair of office buildings in Shanghai’s Putuo District from PGIM in January for around RMB 1.2 billion. During late 2017, the company traded one of the most valuable properties in the region when it sold Asia Square 2 in Singapore for approximately S$2.1 billion.
BlackRock’s asset management business took a major leap forward in the region at the beginning of 2018 when the firm’s wholly-owned Chinese subsidiary was granted a private fund manager (PFM) for the China market, allowing it to offer onshore investment products to investors in mainland China.
“I feel privileged to have led such a strong team to deepen our penetration in this high-growth region, particularly in terms of onshore access to the China market,” Ryan Stork said in the statement. “I am now looking forward to taking on my new role to focus on how we can improve our global operating model, innovation and use of technology.”
A former Rhodes Scholar, Buckingham earned a Master of Philosophy degree in Comparative Social Policy at Oxford University, and also holds Bachelor’s degrees in Medicine and Surgery from Australia’s Monash University.