May 23, 2018 — 12:27 PM UTC by Dina Hampton

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BlackRock Inc. has tapped Venu Krishnamurthy to speed its multiyear effort to establish a digital wealth management duchy.

The former president of CitiGold Wealth Management started at the $6.3-trillion asset manager April 30 as head of its Digital Wealth unit, according to WealthManagement.com, which obtained a March memo to employees announcing the hire. 

“This is a pivotal moment in the wealth management industry and for the role that BlackRock is playing and will continue to play,” read the memo, penned by chief operating officer Rob Goldstein.

In September 2015, the New York-based firm rolled up FutureAdvisor, paying a paltry $152 million for the San Francisco-based robo-advisor. See: Why BlackRock's purchase of FutureAdvisor for $152 million could be a deal of destiny.

A year later, in a move that raised the antennae of industry observers, BlackRock issued a white paper advocating increased regulatory scrutiny for robo-advisors, suggesting "key areas" for the SEC et. al. to focus on. See: BlackRock solicits more regulator scrutiny of robo-advisors, eliciting jeers and a cheer.

In November 2017, BlackRock combined the remains of FutureAdvisor with its Digital Wealth unit -- made up of bits and bobs of acquired wealth management firms and services -- run by Goldstein and global chief marketing officer Frank Cooper. See: BlackRock may build the biggest, baddest RIA platform yet as 'Boy Wonder' begins 'Aladdin-izing' FutureAdvisor

Krishnamurthy spent 12 years at Citi, starting as chief operating officer of GWM International in Singapore, moving to London as global chief financial officer of Citi Private Bank, and then to the States to helm Citigold. He began his career at McKinsey & Co. in New Delhi after receiving an MBA at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad in 1996.

“With Venu’s background and expertise, we are excited to have him lead the team in expanding our reach to more distribution partners, financial advisors, and ultimately to help them better serve their clients,” Goldstein wrote in the memo.

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