BlackRock strengthens credit hedge fund team

The US fund manager has bolstered its credit hedge fund team as it looks to raise an initial $500 million for its latest long / short fund. 

BlackRock has recently hired two people to work on its new credit hedge fund. The world’s biggest fund manager aims to raise an initial $500 million for the fund with an eventual target of $3 billion to invest in credit globally, reports say.

Shantanu Agrawal, who previously worked at Pacific Investment Management Co (PIMCO), joined BlackRock as vice president earlier this year. He spent four years at PIMCO, where he worked on a distressed credit fund. 

Sunil Aggarwal has also joined BlackRock as a director on the fund, having previously worked on distressed investing at Morgan Stanley. Both will work as special situation analysts. A BlackRock spokesperson declined to comment.

BlackRock Credit Alpha Fund began marketing in October, Bloomberg reported in December 2013. The long-short fund seeks to capture valuation anomalies and mispricing.

Laurence Fink, chairman and chief executive of BlackRock, said in an fourth quarter earnings release in January that BlackRock's global retail business grew by 10 percent with $38.8 billion of net inflows for 2013, outstripping 3 percent organic growth in 2012.

“Retail flows were driven by investors seeking outcome-oriented solutions, including unconstrained fixed income, bundled multi-asset and alternative products, led by our high-performing flagship Strategic Income Opportunities fund, which raised net inflows of $6.9 billion in 2013,” Fink said.

New York-based BlackRock has $4.3 trillion in assets under management and alternatives account for $111.1 billion, as at 31 December 2013.