BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, has appointed Giovanni Sandri, current number one for Italy, as manager for southern Europe, creating a cluster that also includes Spain, Portugal, Greece and Israel. The new Southern Europe macro area follows similar regional hubs created by BlackRock across Europe, such as Germany-Switzerland, France-Belgium-Luxembourg and the Nordic countries, and has more than $200 billion under management. Sandri will be responsible for ensuring better coordination between the five countries, allowing him to express a stronger voice within global BlackRock and towards the American headquarters. The banker will keep the position of country head for Italy. The transaction serves to strengthen a very important and fast-growing cluster, which represents approximately $200 billion in assets under management. Other important figures for the Italian market at the top of the new Southern Europe region are Luca Giorgi, who will be the head of iShares and wealth sales of Southern Europe and Fabio Laicchia, appointed head of the institutional business of the new sub-region. The wealth manager, led by Larry Fink, ended the first quarter with $9.1 trillion in assets under management, down from $9.57 trillion a year earlier and up from $8.59 trillion of the fourth quarter. BlackRock, which makes most of its money from fees charged to its investment advisory and administration services, reported adjusted earnings of $7.93 per share. Analysts had estimated earnings of $7.76 per share, according to Refinitiv IBES data. Quarterly revenue dropped to $4.2 billion from $4.7 billion.