Star manager steps down from US bond fund

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US bond manager Matthew Marra no longer runs his $472 million BGF US Dollar Core Bond fund.

The Euro Stars AAA-rated Marra had served as a co-lead manager on the fund since October 2006. He had been noted for strong performance both on an absolute and a risk-adjusted basis.

While he remains with the firm, his colleague Eric Pellicciaro, who had served as a junior manager on both the BGF US Dollar Core Bond and BGF US Government Mortgage Fund, has left BlackRock.

Existing co-lead manager Rick Rieder and junior manager Bob Miller will assume full responsibility for the Luxembourg-domiciled fund.

A spokesperson for BlackRock told Citywire Global that Marra is now focusing on the firm's strategic development and Pellicciaro had opted to leave the company in order to pursue new opportunities.

The decision by Marra to step down from the US bond fund marks the second such change on a major BlackRock fund in the past few weeks.

This follows the retirement of Kevin Rendino, who stepped down as lead manager on the firm’s $1.1 billion BGF US Basic Value fund at the end of November.

Marra appeared in recent Citywire analysis for his strong performance during the first four years of President Obama’s administration, as well as being among the top US bond managers following QE2.

Marra joined BlackRock’s fixed income team in 1997 and had co-run the BGF US Dollar Core Bond fund with Rick Rieder since August 2010 when Rieder replaced Curtis Arledge.

During his tenure on the fund, Marra had worked alongside Arledge, Rieder and Keith Anderson. Marra had assumed control of the fund from Pat Maldari in October 2006. 

Rieder was highlighted by Citywire Global in November of last year as part of the Rising Stars feature of the magazine.

Over the past three years, the BGF US Dollar Core Bond fund has returned 26.16%. This compares to its Citywire benchmark, the Barclays US Aggregate Bond TR, which rose 19.38% over the same period.