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Tom Mondelaers to leave BlackRock
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Tom Mondelaers to leave BlackRock

Tom Mondelaers’ departure represents the second major exit from BlackRock’s European bond desk.
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15 MAY, 2024

By Jose Luis Palmer from RankiaPro Europe

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BlackRock’s European bond team faces a significant change as Tom Mondelaers, head of Euro and global investment grade credit portfolios, has announced his departure. This marks the second major exit from the team, following the recent announcement of Michael Krautzberger's departure. Mondelaers will leave the firm next month to pursue another opportunity, further reshaping the leadership of BlackRock’s European bond operations.

Leadership Changes and Fund Management

The departure of Mondelaers, who has nearly 20 years of experience at BlackRock, is set to impact several funds. He manages assets totaling around €6.5bn and will relinquish his roles on multiple funds, including the €2.93bn BGF Euro Corporate Bond and the $918m BGF Global Corporate Bond funds. BlackRock has stated that the global-focused funds will continue to be led by Daniel Chen, who has 25 years at the firm, alongside Max Huefner, who is newly named as co-manager of the BGF Global Corporate Bond fund.

Mondelaers will also step back from the €2.1bn BSF Sustainable Fixed Income Strategies, which he had managed with Johan Sjogren. Rising star Georgie Merson will expand her responsibilities, continuing as lead on several funds and being named co-lead on new vehicles such as the BSF Sustainable Fixed Income Strategies. Simon Blundell, who succeeded Krautzberger, will co-lead the BSF Sustainable Fixed Income Credit Strategies fund with Merson and Ervin Beke.

Continuity and Team-Based Approach

BlackRock emphasized its team-based approach to managing portfolios, aiming to ensure continuity for clients despite the departures. The European Fundamental Fixed Income team comprises 11 senior portfolio managers, many of whom have co-led credit portfolios with Mondelaers for years. BlackRock reassured investors that the portfolios will be managed with the same robust process and collective experience the team has developed over time.

No changes are expected in the research and investment processes of the funds. The firm remains focused on the benefits of a team-based investment approach.

Specific Fund Management Updates

  • The BGF Euro Corporate Bond fund will see Georgie Merson continue as co-lead portfolio manager alongside Max Huefner.
  • The BSF Sustainable Euro Corporate Bond fund will also have Merson as co-lead, with Huefner joining her.
  • Merson will assume the co-manager role on the BSF Sustainable Fixed Income Strategies fund alongside Johan Sjogren.
  • Simon Blundell will be formalized as co-lead portfolio manager of the BSF Sustainable Fixed Income Credit Strategies fund, with Merson and Ervin Beke.
  • Management of the BGF Global Corporate Bond fund will remain unchanged, overseen by Daniel Chen and Max Huefner.
  • On the BlackRock Euro Investment Grade Fixed Maturity Bond fund 2026, Merson will continue as co-lead portfolio manager with Robert Ryan joining as co-lead.

BlackRock remains committed to maintaining stability and leveraging its experienced team to navigate the transition, ensuring the continued effective management of its funds.

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