BlackRock Hires Former SNB Governor

Jun 13 2012 | 11:46am ET

BlackRock has snapped up the former governor of the Swiss central bank, Philipp Hildebrand.

Hildebrand, who resigned from the bank in January amid a firestorm over his wife’s currency trades, will become a London-based vice chairman of the private equity giant, reports the Wall Street Journal.

In his new role, Hildebrand will focus on working with large institutional clients in Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific and report to BlackRock chairman and chief executive, Laurence Fink.

Prior to his nine-year stint with the Swiss National Bank (the last two as chairman) Hildebrand was a partner at hedge fund Moore Capital Management and chief investment officer at Switzerland's Vontobel Group and Union Bancaire Privé.

Last year, Hildebrand's wife Kashya, a former trader who now has an art gallery in Zurich, bought $400,000 with Swiss francs three weeks before the SNB promised unlimited intervention to keep the franc from rising above 1.20 versus the euro.

At the time, Hildebrand said he’d learned of the trade only after the fact but could not provide "conclusive and final evidence that my wife did initiate the transaction without my knowledge,” for which reason he resigned.

A subsequent SNB investigation revealed Hildebrand himself had made no unauthorized trades.

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