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BlackRock hires US equity income veteran

BlackRock hires US equity income veteran

Veteran investor Antonio DeSpirito has joined BlackRock from Pzena Investment Management to serve as co-head of its equity dividend team, the US firm has announced.

The move sees DeSpirito work alongside Bob Shearer, who is the existing head of equity dividend.

In his new role, the New York-based manager will also serve as a managing director and portfolio manager within the unit, which oversees nearly $50 billion in dividend strategies and related portfolios.

He has immediately been assigned as a co-manager on the BGF North American Equity Income fund alongside Shearer and Kathleen Anderson.

Commenting on the hire, BlackRock said in a statement: ‘DeSpirito’s appointment reflects BlackRock’s commitment to investment excellence and to investing in its portfolio management teams. The depth and breadth of his experience will be an asset to BlackRock’s investors and to the team.’

The former Citywire AA-rated manager brings with him 18 years of market experience, with his most recent post having been as managing principal and portfolio manager at Pzena Investment Management.

During his tenure, he had also worked as a co-manager on the Vanguard US Fundamental Value fund alongside John Goetz and Richard Pzena.

The Vanguard US Fundamental Value Inv USD returned 112.7% over the past five years in US dollar terms. This compares with a rise of 112% by the S&P 500 Value Total Return Index over the same timeframe.

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