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BlackRock says executive turned down RBS offer

(Reuters) - BlackRock Inc said its head of Asia Pacific operations, Mark McCombe, has rejected an offer to take the top job at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and will remain with the world's largest fund manager.

The Financial Times cited sources on Tuesday saying that McCombe, a former head of HSBC Holdings Plc's Hong Kong operations, had emerged as the external frontrunner for the position of RBS chief executive.

BlackRock spokesman Brian Beades told Reuters that McCombe sent a note to his senior staff informing them that he had been contacted by RBS but had elected to remain with the firm.

RBS is struggling to recruit a suitable replacement for ousted Chief Executive Stephen Hester, whose departure last month was engineered by Chairman Philip Hampton with the backing of Britain's finance ministry.

Hampton and Anna Mann's MWM headhunting firm are interviewing candidates and could name a new chief executive by August 2, along with the bank's second-quarter results, the FT said. (http://link.reuters.com/nyc89t)

David Roberts, the deputy chairman of Lloyds and a former banker at Barclays Plc , is seen as a second credible external candidate for the post, the newspaper added.

External candidates touted by industry sources and analysts also include Richard Meddings, finance director at Standard Chartered Plc .

Internal options would include Finance Director Bruce Van Saun, and Nathan Bostock, currently head of restructuring and risk and a former Abbey National finance chief.

RBS declined to comment on the matter.

(Reporting by Abhirup Roy in Bangalore and Ashley Lau in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Stephen Coates)

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