Home Investment Manager of Silicon Valley’s Wealth Turns to BlackRock for Investment Chief – Wall Street Journal

Manager of Silicon Valley’s Wealth Turns to BlackRock for Investment Chief – Wall Street Journal

6 min read

Menlo Park in California’s Silicon Valley


Michael Short/Bloomberg News



executive is being hired to run the personal investments of Silicon Valley’s ultra rich.

Nugi Jakobishvili, who led a team at BlackRock focused on alternative investments, was picked as investment chief for Iconiq Capital LLC’s family office clients, said people familiar with the matter. The 39-year-old is leaving in January to start his new role at the firm, according to a BlackRock memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Iconiq manages money for some of the most prominent names in Silicon Valley. It got its start earlier this decade advising early clients such as Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg of


It is currently a client of BlackRock.

Increasingly the San Francisco wealth manager also has been raising money for its own private-equity funds. It managed roughly $12.3 billion and advised on $15.4 billion as of the end of 2017, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The arrival of the BlackRock executive comes after a period of change at the top of Iconiq. One of the firm’s co-founders, Chad Boeding, recently left to start a new rival wealth manager called Epiq Capital Group. Epiq said in a May news release that the launch was “directly related to Boeding’s intense commitment to avoiding conflicts of interest commonly found at major banks and large advisory firms.”

Iconiq’s new choice for chief investment officer started with BlackRock in 2006 and was part of a team tasked to oversee certain assets of giant insurer

American International Group

following the 2008 financial crisis. BlackRock has since become the world’s largest asset manager thanks in part to a stock-market surge and the rise of cheaper investments that mimic indexes.

Mr. Jakobishvili had been the investment chief and co-head of an alternative solutions group at BlackRock that invests in assets that include debt, infrastructure and privately held companies. That group oversees $6 billion, part of more than $100 billion in alternative assets managed by BlackRock as of Sept. 30. Across the firm, BlackRock managed $6.4 trillion in total assets as of that date.

BlackRock is in the midst of a push to become a bigger player in the world of alternative investing, a more lucrative business than running stocks and bonds. Alternatives accounted for about 10% of the company’s fee revenues last year.

Mr. Jakobishvili’s former post at BlackRock will be filled from within the company. Effective Monday, Pam Chan, a senior portfolio manager, will become investment chief and co-head of the group alongside existing co-head Andrew Berg, according to the memo. Active equities head Mark Wiseman also will join the investment committee of the group, according to the memo.

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