November 26, 2018 / 2:24 AM / in 19 days

MOVES-BlackRock names new chief in Asia as it prepares China ramp-up

NEW YORK, Nov 25 (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc on Sunday appointed its New York-based corporate strategy chief as head of its operations in the Asia Pacific region as the world's largest fund manager looks to ramp up its operations in China.

Geraldine Buckingham, a former Rhodes scholar and McKinsey & Co partner who currently directs the asset manager's corporate strategy globally, will move from New York to Hong Kong to take on the role, BlackRock said in a statement. The fund manager oversees $6.4 trillion in assets.

The move comes as BlackRock puts in play plans that Buckingham helped develop to grow its business in China, which has historically been restricted and small in comparison with its operations in the United States and Europe. The Asia Pacific region accounts for 7 percent of the company's assets under management.

Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink described developing its China business as one of the company's most critical priorities in the company's annual report earlier this year and added that Chinese regulations allowing foreign asset managers to eventually own 100 percent of a domestic fund management company could allow BlackRock to significantly expand its presence.

Buckingham's predecessor in the Asia role, Ryan Stork, will return to New York as BlackRock's deputy global chief operating officer, with input on the company's technology strategy.

The two management changes take effect in February. Buckingham's successor in the strategy role and a new job for deputy global chief operating officer Patrick Olson will also be announced in February, a BlackRock spokeswoman said in an email. (Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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