Moving to expand its overseas money management operations, BlackRock Inc. said Monday that it has hired a team of equity managers from a European investment firm.

The five-member team hails from Scottish Widows Investment Management Ltd, a British asset manager. The team specializes in European and Asian equity management and will start Jan. 1.

"This gets us further toward where we want to go," said Laurence D. Fink, chairman of BlackRock in New York, which oversees $148 billion of assets. "This is a step in building outward from Europe."

The deal gives BlackRock, which largely oversees fixed-income assets, more presence in both equities and European investments.

Analysts said the move is a good strategic fit.

"This enhances their product mix and creates cross-sell opportunities," said William Katz, a financial services industry analyst at Merrill Lynch & Co.

"They're taking advantage of an opportunity to add some quality portfolio people who should blend in well with BlackRock's culture," said Mark Constant, a financial services analyst at Lehman Brothers.

BlackRock, which is mostly owned by PNC Bank Corp. of Pittsburgh, already has a 17-person money management team in Edinburgh, Scotland, that manages $2.5 billion of assets. The hirings will augment that group, Mr. Fink said. "It's a nice fit to expand our global equity product."

Terms of the hirings were not disclosed, though Mr. Fink said the managers would have multiyear contracts with BlackRock.

The managers oversaw $8 billion of assets at Scottish Widows in a variety of pension investments on behalf of institutional and individual clients. It was not clear how much if any of these assets would follow the managers to BlackRock.

Mr. Fink said he expects the unit to grow. "Now it's up to us to bring in assets through the new team," he said.

Scottish Widows Investment Management is a unit of Scottish Widows Fund and Life Assurance Society, which is to be sold to Lloyds TSB Group early next year for $11.1 billion of cash.

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