New asset management firm 16Rock brings on BlackRock vet as CIO

Investment advisory firm 16th Amendment Advisors LLC has formed an asset management arm and tapped BlackRock’s former head muni portfolio manager to serve as its chief investment officer.

James Pruskowski, a nearly 30-year veteran of BlackRock, will be CIO and head of business development for16Rock Asset Management LLC. Pruskowski partnered with 16th Amendment’s Chief Executive Officer Jed McCarthy and President John Lee to create the asset management firm that provides “innovative managed account solutions, transition management services, and alternative investments.”

McCarthy said 16th Amendment had been looking at ways to grow its investment management business outside of its separately managed account business — which already has a more than 10-year track record.

“Hiring someone like James, with his abilities and reputation, will super charge that effort,” McCarthy said. “With his very broad experience both in the tax-exempt and taxable space and his creativity, he is very good at providing solutions for investors around the world.”

“James’ expertise in asset management will help accelerate our growth, focusing on providing global clients with innovative municipal products and investment excellence,” Lee said in a statement.

Pruskowski was head of institutional and wealth management for municipal bonds at BlackRock and head portfolio manager since 2004.

He also served on the department’s management committee, which is responsible for leading the firm’s municipal bond department. Pruskowski started his career at BlackRock in 1994 where he helped build the firm’s solutions, financial institutions business, and its municipal bond franchise. 

After his long tenure with BlackRock, Pruskowski said he is excited to be positioned at more of a niche shop that has the ability to be nimble and provide a bespoke array of services to clients. 

“Our passion is to help clients translate their desires and aspirations into sophisticated outcomes that exude order,” Pruskowski said.

Pruskowski said the customized managed accounts will focus on institutions and high-net worth individuals with highly curated accounts focused on tax-exempt and taxable munis. 

The taxable municipal market has a deficit of short-duration muni products and 16Rock intends to fill that void. 

“We intend to institutionalize what 16th Amendment has started and focus on reaching a global audience,” he said.

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