BlackRock head of European equities leaves amid falling revenues

BlackRock's head of equity trading leaves as asset manager reveals drop in equity trading revenues.

BlackRock’s head of equity trading for Europe has departed, as the world’s largest asset manager recorded a drop in equities trading revenues.

Felix Mason, a managing director and a senior member of BlackRock’s London-based equity trading team, left the company in February according to the FCA register.

His departure comes almost one year after Paul Walker-Duncalf, BlackRock’s former global head of equity trading, decided to step down.

A spokesperson for BlackRock declined to comment on Mason’s departure.

On Thursday the asset manager confirmed reports it was planning to restructure its operations, which led to 400 job losses.

BlackRock, as well as the other largest banks, were rocked by volatility in the equity markets at the beginning of the year as it saw equity revenues fall by $75 million to almost $1.2 billion in the first quarter of the year.

It reported net income of $657 million in the first quarter this year, down 20% year-on-year.

Overall revenues in the first quarter this year reached just over $2.6 billion, down from $2.7 billion in the same period last year.

Blackrock’s iShares business saw mixed results. While equity sales were down $61 million, the iShares fixed income division saw revenues grow by $22 million to $152 million.

Overall it has been a turbulent first three months for banks and asset managers.  Earlier this week Nomura confirmed it will shut its European equities business and cut around a 1,000 jobs in the US and Europe as part of a downsizing programme affecting its equity research, underwriting and derivatives units.

Citi is also expected to cut around 70 jobs in its London office, as a result of a decline in trading revenues.