is bringing in Frank Cooper
as the asset manager's new chief marketing officer, starting early next year.
| Frank Cooper|
Chief marketing officer
Sarah Krouse at the Wall Street Journal reports
that Cooper is set to "lead a marketing team that focuses on research and analytics, digital marketing and branding," according to an internal memo at BlackRock
. He will report directly to Fink, who highlighted Cooper's experience in harnessing "new marketing technologies to help organizations—from global consumer companies to technology startups—to drive growth."
Cooper is a marketing veteran whose experience includes over a decade at PepsiCo and a stint at AOL, but this marks his first foray into asset management. For the past 18 months, Cooper has served as chief marketing officer and chief creative officer at BuzzFeed
. The digital publishing powerhouse is known for its ability to generate content that goes "viral"—attracting online traffic stats that put other news sites to shame. When it comes to start-ups, few have built a more recognizable brand than BuzzFeed.
The company got its name recognition as a media start-up focused more on entertainment than news, best known for, among other things, cat videos and "listicles," articles written in list form. However, in recent years, BuzzFeed has evolved into an investigative reporting shop as well, attracting Pulitzer-prize winning journalists from legacy media outlets.
Perhaps Fink hopes Cooper can translate this experience to the world of asset management, as BlackRock looks to boost its retail business and build a brand with individual investors. Krouse reports that, as of the end of Q3, institutional assets account for 62% of BlackRock's AUM, but only 29 percent of its investment fees, while retail assets account for 12 percent of AUM and 34 percent of fees. iShares represents the remainder, with 26% of assets and 37 percent of fees.
Additional news of Cooper's move has been covered by the Wall Street Journal
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