Black Steps Down, BlackRock Stake Sold

Published: Nov 03, 2010


It's shaping up to be a Black Wednesday.

Steven Black, a vice chairman of JPMorgan Chase and the former co-CEO of the firm's investment bank, said he is stepping down, ending a long run alongside his colleague Jamie Dimon, the current CEO of JPMorgan who worked with Black at Citigroup in the 1990s. Black hasn't indicated what's next for him but conjectured it might have something to do with (surprise surprise) a hedge fund or private equity firm.

Meanwhile, Bank of America announced that it will sell most of its not insignificant stake in the world's largest money manager, BlackRock. BofA inherited the stake when it acquired Mother Merrill Lynch (which had hatched a deal with BlackRock back in 2006). The move underscores how BofA under Brian Moynihan has been largely steering in a different direction than it did under Kenny "They Killled Him" Lewis, with B. Money opting to divest rather than acquire, focusing on core businesses like consumer banking as opposed to trying to be all things to all folks.

And there's also this, from DealBook: "as part of the new regulations under the proposed Basel III framework governing financial institutions around the world, banks face stricter limits on counting minority investments toward their capital requirements, encouraging them to sell stakes like the one Bank of America has in BlackRock."

Investors seemed to like BofA's sale: the bank's stock rose on the news, albeit by just a few cents.

As for the affects to BlackRock, its shares fell 4.35 percent to $165.51 "on investor concern that the flood of new shares in the market would depress the stock. However, in the long term, the sale could actually help the company gain new holders by making it more liquid and easier to trade for institutional investors."

That is, not to worry, BlackRock will still be killing it.


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