BlackRock has named Venu Krishnamurthy head of its new digital wealth unit.
He joins the asset management giant from Citigroup, where he was the U.S. head of Citigold and Citi Priority client segments, as well as Citi Personal Wealth Management, according to an internal memo provided by BlackRock to Financial Planning, a sister publication of American Banker.
Krishnamurthy "brings to the firm a unique mix of experience leading global platforms, developing digital products and operating wealth management businesses,” said Rob Goldstein, BlackRock's chief operating officer.
At Citi, Krishnamurthy oversaw development of a suite of investment products and services. He also led the national wealth management sales force. Previously, he served as global chief financial officer for Citi’s private bank out of London, and chief operating officer of global wealth management in Singapore.
Krishnamurthy started his career as an IBM engineer before joining Softbank as an investor with its eVentures fund. He then switched to advising companies, spending almost a decade at McKinsey in Asia and the Boston Consulting Group in the U.S.
BlackRock, which has more than $6 trillion in assets under management, has been reorganizing itself and tinkering with product offerings as financial services go digital.
In October, it consolidated an array of high-tech advisory operations into a single unit consisting of four groups including the robo offering FutureAdvisor.
As more fintechs, asset managers and large tech firms jockey to provide technology to advisory firms, BlackRock has made its risk analysis tool, Aladdin, available to wealth management firms. UBS, which has nearly 7,000 U.S.-based advisers, was the first to partner with BlackRock.
BlackRock has also made several strategic investments in fintech firms, most recently leading a $50 million funding round for the popular microinvesting app Acorns.
“This is a pivotal moment in the wealth management industry and for the role that BlackRock is playing and will continue to play,” Goldstein said in the memo. “With [Krishnamurthy’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.”