BlackRock provides a range of investment advisory and asset management services to retail and institutional clients around the world, with a view to growing and securing their finances.
BlackRock was founded in 1988 by Larry Fink, (“Fink”), Robert Kapito (“Kapito”), Susan Wagner, Barbara Novick, Ben Golub, Hugh Frater, Ralph Schlosstein, and Keith Anderson. The Company initially operated under the name The Blackstone Group. It focused at first on offering fixed-income products, and seeking to offer services that put the needs of its clients first.
By the time the Company assumed the BlackRock name in 1992 it had $17 billion in assets under management. This figure grew to $53 billion by the end of 1994. BlackRock diversified its product portfolio to include open-end mutual funds, including equity funds, and began developing its innovative online investment solutions platform.
BlackRock is today established as one of the largest investment advisory and asset management companies in the world with around $5.1 trillion in assets under management. The Company has operations in more than 30 countries and serves clients in 100 countries worldwide. BlackRock is ranked 250th on the Fortune 500 list and trades a portion of its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. The Company has a current market capitalisation of $61.15 billion.
BlackRock provides a range of investment advisory, asset management, and other services to a broad network of institutional and retail clients around the world. The Company organises its clients into three principal categories as follows:
Tax-Exempt Institutions, including defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans, charities, foundations and endowments;
Official Institutions, including central banks, sovereign wealth funds, supranationals and other government entities; and
Taxable Institutions, including insurance companies, financial institutions, corporations and third-party fund sponsors, and retail investors.
Due to the private and secure nature of the Company’s business, BlackRock does not provide the names of any of its clients on its website or in its annual report.
BlackRock serves a global client base, with operations in more than 30 countries serving client in over 100 countries around the world. The Company divides its customers into three geographic regions: the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe, Middle East and Africa. The bulk of the Company’s business is conducted in the Americas region.
BlackRock provides value to its customers in the following ways:
Its name and reputation, with the Company established as one of the leading asset management and investment advisory businesses in the world, commanding a positive reputation for providing high-quality services and reliable returns for its clients;
Its portfolio of services, with the Company offering a range of services and investment products, including single and multi-asset class portfolios investing in equities, fixed income, alternatives and money market instruments;
Its international reach, with the Company operating a broad international network of offices, serving clients in more than 100 countries spread across the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe, Middle East and Africa;
Its accessibility, with the Company providing direct advisory services, which are supported by various online services and platforms, such as its online BlackRock Solutions portal;
Its industry expertise and experience, with the Company employing highly-trained, expert financial advisors, as well as other specialist financial professionals, led by a team of experienced industry executives.
BlackRock operates a website at www.blackrock.com, through which it provides information on its various financial products, services, and markets. The Company provides certain services through its website, including its BlackRock Solutions portal, through which clients can access a range of resources and receive customised solutions for their individual investment needs, and its iShares portal, which allows customers to manage their investments through exchange traded funds.
BlackRock primarily serves its clients directly through an in-house team of specialist investment advisors and other financial professionals, organised across the Company’s geographic operating regions. These personnel operate out of the Company’s extensive network of offices across the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe, Middle East and Africa, including in Atlanta, London, Madrid, Tokyo, Sydney, and Hong Kong.
BlackRock additionally provides products and services through a network of authorized intermediaries, with the Company’s retail investors served principally through various broker-dealers, banks, trust companies, insurance companies and independent financial advisors. This includes third-party financial and other institutions across three of the Company’s operating regions.
BlackRock provides a range of services and resources to customers on a self-service basis through its online BlackRock Solutions and iShares portals. These online channels allow clients to manage their investments, access resources, and find appropriate solutions independently without interacting with members of the Company’s investment advisory personnel.
BlackRock principally serves its clients through a dedicated network of investment advisors spread across the Company’s various operating jurisdictions. These advisors consult directly with clients, establishing a close relationship in order to fully establish their individual needs, preferences, and limitations. The Company is consequently able to provide services that are tailored to each specific client.
BlackRock provides ongoing support to its clients, providing regular updates with the performance of their investments. The Company’s larger clients are given their own account management teams, that are able to serve as a principal point of contact with regard to queries and concerns. Customers can also contact the Company’s relevant office directly over the phone, with contact details posted on the Company’s website.
Clients can additionally follow the activities of BlackRock, and interact with the Company directly, through its various social media accounts, including with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
BlackRock is an international investment and asset management firm. The Company provides a broad range of investment and risk management services to institutional and retail clients across more than 100 countries spanning the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe, Middle east and Africa. The Company offers various products, including single and multi-asset class portfolios investing in equities, fixed income, alternatives and money market instruments.
BlackRock principally provides services through a global network of dedicated investment advisors and other financial professionals, but also utilises the services of various financial intermediaries, including broker-dealers, banks, insurance companies, trust companies, and independent financial advisors. The Company also operates online portals for certain of its services, including its BlackRock Solutions portal and its iShares exchange traded fund offerings. BlackRock additionally offers risk reporting capabilities via the Green Package and risk management advisory services.
BlackRock works in collaboration with a network of partner companies and organisations in order to efficiently and reliably provide investment advisory services to its international client base. These partners can be organised broadly into the following categories:
Supplier and Vendor Partners, including suppliers of various services, tools, and technologies that support the Company’s core investment operations, as well as companies to which certain non-technical functions can be outsourced;
Channel and Distribution Partners, comprising the Company’s network of financial intermediaries – including banks, broker-dealers, insurance companies, and trust companies – that provide various services and solutions on the Company’s behalf;
Social and Community Partners, including various non-profits and charitable organisations with which the Company collaborate son social and community projects around the world;
Technology Partners, including a range of technology, software, hardware and integrations partners that assist the Company in developing and maintaining effective IT infrastructure, and jointly develop various technology solutions for the Company; and
Strategic and Alliance Partners, including market leading companies across multiple industries that work jointly with the Company on various marketing, branding, and other projects.
BlackRock has a number of partnerships in place. This includes a distribution partnership with Artivest to provide broader distribution and efficient access to its alternative investment strategies, a technology partnership with Hazeltree LiquidityWeb, and a trading partnership with Fidelity Investments.
BlackRock’s key resources are its intellectual properties, its online platforms, its IT and communications infrastructure, its network of sales and service offices, its network of intermediaries, its partnerships, and its personnel.
BlackRock owns and or licences a number of intellectual properties as part of its business. Searches of records published by the US Patent and Trademark Office identified a number of patent applications filed in which BlackRock was named as applicant or assignee, including applications entitled ‘Investment funds enabling a bond laddering strategy’, ‘System and method for managing credit risk for investment portfolios’ and ‘System and method for managing credit risk for investment portfolios’.
BlackRock owns and or leases a number of physical properties around the world that are key to its activities. This principally comprises its international network of offices across the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe, Middle East and Africa, including locations in Seattle, Singapore, Sydney, and Taipei.
BlackRock incurs costs in relation to the development of its intellectual properties and online portals, the maintenance of its IT and communications infrastructure, the procurement of professional services, the operation of its sales and service network, the implementation of marketing and promotional campaigns, the management of its partnerships, and the retention of its personnel.
In 2015 BlackRock recorded total employee compensation and benefit costs in the amount of $4.01 billion, and distribution and servicing costs totaling $409 million. The Company’s total general and administrative costs were recorded as $1.38 billion, including occupancy costs in the amount of $280 million, and marketing and promotional costs totaling $365 million for the year.
BlackRock generates revenue through the provision of various investment advisory and asset management services. The Company’s revenue is derived in the form of investment advisory fees, administration fees, securities lending revenue, and performance fees.
In 2015 BlackRock recorded revenue for the year in the amount of $11.40 billion, up marginally on the $11.08 billion recorded by the Company in the previous year. The Company’s revenue was generated primarily in the form of investment advisory, administration fees and securities lending revenue, which totaled $9.84 billion for the year. The Company recorded investment advisory performance fees of $621 million, and revenue related to its BlackRock Solutions and advisory services in the amount of $646 million.
Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
info: Fink has served as been a member of the senior leadership team at BlackRock since co-founding the Company in 1988. He currently serves as the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, overseeing the overall strategic direction of the Company. He also leads the Company’s Global Executive Committee. Fink additionally serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of New York University and is Co-Chairman of the NYU Langone Medical Center Board of Trustees. Fink also serves on the Boards of The Museum of Modern Art, the Council on Foreign Relations and Robin Hood. Prior to founding BlackRock, Fink worked for a number of years at The First Boston Corporation, where he served in various roles, including a spells as a member of the Management Committee, Managing Director, and Co-Head of the Taxable Fixed Income Division.
Co-Founder, President and Vice Chairman
info: Kapito has been a senior leader at BlackRock since co-founding the Company in 1988, and has as President of the Company since 2007. He also serves as Vice Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors, and is a member of the Company’s Global Executive Committee. Kapito is responsible for day-to-day oversight of all BlackRock’s key operating units including the Investment Strategies, Client Businesses, Technology and Operations, and Risk and Quantitative Analysis divisions. He additionally sits on the Board of Directors at iShares Inc. Prior to founding BlackRock, Kapito worked for a number of years at The First Boston Corporation alongside Fink, including a spell as Vice President of the company’s Mortgage Products Group.
Chief Financial Officer
info: Gary Shedlin (“Shedlin”) has served as BlackRock's Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Company’s Global Executive Committee since joining the Company in 2013. He is responsible for leading the Company’s various financial units. Shedlin has worked in the investment and financial sector for a number of years, holding a number of senior roles at high-profile financial institutions. This includes spells as Chairman of the Financial Institutions Group at Citi and Managing Director and Co-Head of the Financial Institutions Group at Lazard. Prior to joining BlackRock, Shedlin worked for a number of years at Morgan Stanley, where he served for a period as Vice Chairman of Investment Banking, and a Managing Director in the Financial Institutions Group.
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