BlackRock to hire 300 lawyers to handle regulation 'mess'


ST GALLEN, Switzerland (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc , the world's largest money manager, plans to hire another 300 lawyers to help it deal with fragmented global regulation, particularly of banks.

"We're probably hiring another 300 lawyers and I'm not the one being regulated, I'm not a bank," BlackRock Chief Executive Laurence Fink told the St Gallen Symposium, an annual conference at the university in the eastern Swiss town.

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Fink noted his New York-based company was the world's largest holder of bank equity and bank debt, so had to closely follow tighter regulation of the financial industry in the wake of the 2007-09 crisis when governments bailed out many banks.

"There is no consistent manner in which bank resolution will be applied," he said. "It is a mess and we are trying to constructively work with our regulators ... There is a need for better global coordinated regulations."

The world's top banking regulatory body said last month over half its members missed a January deadline set by global leaders for introducing tougher rules to make banks safer.

Some of the world's top financial centers such as Britain, Germany, France and the United States have yet to finalize or introduce their rules based on an accord world leaders endorsed over two years ago.

In March, BlackRock told staff it would reduce headcount by nearly 300 employees, or about 3 percent, according to an internal memo obtained by Reuters.

The cut is part of a reorganization that began last year, although BlackRock executives have said they expect to end 2013 with more employees than they have today as they selectively add managers and salespeople.

(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Mark Potter)