Summary List Placement
BlackRock, the world’s largest investment manager, has become an increasingly influential Wall Street player in Washington, DC as a poster child of the revolving door between finance and politics.
The firm has hired notable policy-makers over the years, and at least three leaders with the New York-based asset manager on their resumes now hold prominent roles in President Joe Biden’s cabinet.
Former BlackRock investment executive Brian Deese leads Biden’s National Economic Council, effectively serving as his top advisor on economic matters. Biden also tapped Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo, a former chief of staff to BlackRock chief executive and longtime Democrat Larry Fink, to serve as a top official at the Treasury Department.
Meanwhile Michael Pyle, BlackRock’s former global chief investment strategist who had worked in the Obama administration before joining the firm, serves as chief economic advisor to Vice President Kamala Harris.
But unlike Goldman Sachs, a household brand name synonymous with executives leaving finance to go shape public policy, BlackRock isn’t as well-known to people outside the investment industry.
Here’s a rundown of fast facts to know about the firm.
Read more: The US government has pitched a policy that would allow private equity into your retirement fund. BlackRock is salivating at the possibility — here’s how the $7 trillion manager would benefit.
1. BlackRock controls $9 trillion, making it the largest money manager in the world.
As of March, BlackRock manages a staggering $9 trillion in other people’s money. That’s more than the gross domestic product of every country in the world, except for the US and China.
For its largesse in investment management, it’s a new firm by Wall Street institution standards. BlackRock was founded in 1988 by Fink, who also serves as the chairman, and seven others, including BlackRock President Robert Kapito and senior advisor Barbara Novick.
BlackRock’s makes most of its money handling investments for outside clients, mostly institutions like public pension plans, endowments, and foundations.
As of March, nearly 60% of its overall assets under management are for institutional investors, most of which are products linked to stock markets. It also has a sprawling alternative investments business that oversaw $238 billion in assets under management as of March, managing products across private equity, private credit, and hedge funds.
Read more: Meet the 17 BlackRock power players carrying out CEO Larry Fink’s vision to turbocharge private equity and alternative investments growth
2. It runs a massive technology platform that oversees at least $21.6 trillion in assets.
In 1999, BlackRock started selling Aladdin, which analyses and tracks investors’ portfolios, which can help professional money managers spot risks. Today, it is a juggernaut widely used in the money management industry and beyond.
One of the definitive descriptions of Aladdin and all its connections, a February report in the Financial Times, detailed its sheer scale:
“Vanguard and State Street Global Advisors, the largest fund managers after BlackRock, are users, as are half the top 10 insurers by assets, as well as Japan’s $1.5tn government pension fund, the world’s largest. Apple, Microsoft, and Google’s parent firm, Alphabet — the three …read more
Source:: Business Insider