Director, Investment/Product Strategy

London, United Kingdom
31 Mar 2021
10 Apr 2021
Job Function
Industry Sector
Finance - General
Employment Type
Full Time
About this role
Business Unit Overview:

BlackRock's iShares and Wealth business helps wealth, asset manager, and institutional clients across the EMEA build better portfolios, delivering the our market leading range of active, index and alternative investment products to our wealth and asset manager client base, whilst enabling institutional clients to use our suite of index investment tools to replace individual securities, to take short-term market views, to invest cash rapidly, to execute more efficiently than swaps, futures or individual bonds, to take long-term core positions and to construct efficient portfolios.

Job Purpose/Background:
BlackRock's EMEA iSW business is looking for an experienced active product strategist to lead the cross-organizational efforts to position our active fixed income and alternatives product platforms.

Primary responsibility of the role will be to define and drive the sales and retention goals for active fixed income and alternative strategies in the wealth channel across the region. The individual will own the product agenda for these asset classes for the EMEA iSW business, developing a business plan and executing against that plan. There will be a requirement to work in strong partnership with global fixed income, credit, alternatives teams, ETF & index investments, global product group, global marketing and other key stakeholders. From product development and product launch through to product positioning and sales prioritization, this candidate will serve as the strategic driver and single point of contact within EMEA iSW for active fixed income and alternatives. Reporting to the Head of EMEA Wealth Product Group, the successful candidate will possess a deep knowledge of the EMEA cross border fund marketplace, investment management, capital markets, sustainable investing and active fixed income and alternative strategies. The key responsibilities of the role include commercialization of products, drive the innovation and pricing agenda as well as seek to increase alignment of our index/active proposition. Additionally, the candidate must have exceptional communication skills and the ability to form trusted relationships and work across the organization to build consensus for tactical and strategic sales initiatives.

Key Responsibilities:
  • Define and execute the product plan for active fixed income and alternatives within EMEA iSW
  • Responsibility for the commercialization and platform management of BlackRock's existing products within the iSW channel whilst also working to innovate and launch new products that are relevant to iSW clients
  • The successful candidate will need to build strong relationships with key stakeholders in iSW and partner functions such as portfolio management, product strategy, global product group and marketing
  • They will also be required to represent the iSW business in front of the firm's senior leadership and with clients
  • As a Director they will be expected to manage and develop more junior members of WPG
  • Define what EMEA iSW will, and will not, be focussing on for each asset class to optimise sales focus - own communication of focus to key stakeholders including fixed income and alternative leadership
  • Understand buying behavior across countries and client segments to nuance the product plan by client type
  • Partner with counterparts in EII to ensure that the active product plan is coordinated with index and leverages the full breadth of BlackRock's capabilities
  • Organize "virtual" teams that meet regularly to discus and execute on asset class plans and align key stakeholders behind the plan
  • Drive positioning of BlackRock funds by articulating each fund's distinct investment process and competitive advantages and ensure consistent positioning with sales
  • Study and evaluate industry trends, competitive dynamics and highlight sales opportunities using data
  • Help define and position BlackRock's competitive advantage in the investment strategies landscape; understand industry dynamics, drivers of growth and how to effectively position BlackRock's funds in this context
  • Own the product narrative and key messaging in the context of current investment themes and macro conditions. Ensure this remains relevant and compelling. Ensure consistent delivery of collateral, content and training to optimise sales focus
  • Regular communication with regional stakeholders, sales heads and sales leadership groups to understand sales and client feedback around the reception of product messages and positioning
  • Identify areas for potential range enhancement and areas of future client demand to generate new product ideas
  • Evaluate other new product concepts developed outside of iSW and determine relevance for iSW client base
  • Partner with global product group to bring new products to launch and move to commercialization post launch
  • Investigate platform enhancements in areas such as product wrapper, share classes and pricing
Platform management
  • Work with global product group regarding fund mergers and closures and evaluation of fund pricing
  • Oversee communication of fund changes and portfolio manager changes within iSW
Measurement of success:
  • Successfully reach goals for calendar year based on gross and net metrics
  • Receptivity of product positioning and strategies by sales force and clients
  • Ability to grow investor base for new strategies and maintain for more mature range
  • BA/BSc required
  • CFA preferred; MBA a plus
  • Proven financial services experience, preferably with a focus on mutual fund strategy, sales and fixed income and alternatives
  • Strong understanding of EMEA intermediary-sold mutual funds, industry trends, and different segments (Bank, Insurance, IFA)
  • Strong understanding of the asset management industry with a preference for a product specialist background
  • Strong capital market knowledge
  • Preference for multi-lingual candidate (German, French or Italian as second language)
  • Ability to execute across teams and drive projects with input and feedback from key stakeholders
  • Working knowledge of investment databases, including Morningstar and Bloomberg, knowledge of Aladdin would also be a plus
  • Understanding of performance attribution, market factors and drivers of returns across mutual funds and asset classes
  • Solid interpersonal skills and ability to quickly form meaningful working partnerships and demonstrate leadership
  • Superior writing and editorial skills
  • Strong presentation skills and ability to deliver pertinent facts in a concise fashion
Our benefits
To help you stay energized, engaged and inspired, we offer a wide range of benefits including a strong retirement plan, tuition reimbursement, comprehensive healthcare, support for working parents and Flexible Time Off (FTO) so you can relax, recharge and be there for the people you care about.

About BlackRock

BlackRock's purpose is to help more and more people experience financial well-being. As a fiduciary to investors and a leading provider of financial technology, we help millions of people build savings that serve them throughout their lives by making investing easier and more affordable.
For additional information on BlackRock, please visit | Twitter: @blackrock | LinkedIn:

BlackRock is proud to be an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status, and other statuses protected by law.
BlackRock will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest or conviction records in a manner consistent with the requirements of the law, including any applicable fair chance law.

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