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jerryking : laurence_fink   19

BlackRock’s Larry Fink Wants to Become the Next Warren Buffett
Feb. 7, 2018 | WSJ | By Sarah Krouse.

BlackRock’s new vehicle, known within the firm as a “long-term private capital” vehicle, is part of that push to emphasize alternative investments. The firm already manages $145 billion in higher-fee investment strategies that include private equity and hedge funds of funds, real assets and private credit. But it doesn’t have a buyout fund of its own.
BlackRock  Laurence_Fink  asset_management  Warren_Buffett  long-term  investors  investing 
february 2018 by jerryking
BlackRock’s Message: Contribute to Society, or Risk Losing Our Support - The New York Times
Andrew Ross Sorkin

DEALBOOK JAN. 15, 2018

Larry Fink, founder and CEO of the investment firm BlackRock, is going to inform business leaders that their companies need to do more than make profits — they need to contribute to society as well if they want to receive the support of BlackRock.

Mr. Fink has the clout to make this kind of demand: His firm manages more than $6 trillion in investments through 401(k) plans, ETFs and mutual funds, making it the largest investor in the world, and he has an outsize influence on whether directors are voted on and off boards.

“Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose,” he wrote in a draft of the letter that was shared with me. “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

It may be a watershed moment on Wall Street, one that raises all sorts of questions about the very nature of capitalism. ...“It is huge for an institutional investor to take this position across its portfolio.‘‘

In a candid assessment of what’s happening in the business world — and perhaps taking a veiled shot at Washington at the same time — Mr. Fink wrote that he is seeing “many governments failing to prepare for the future, on issues ranging from retirement and infrastructure to automation and worker retraining.” He added, “As a result, society increasingly is turning to the private sector and asking that companies respond to broader societal challenges.” Mr. Fink’s declaration is different because his constituency in this case is the business community itself. It pits him, to some degree, against many of the companies that he’s invested in, which hold the view that their only duty is to produce profits for their shareholders, an argument long espoused by economists like Milton Friedman.
Laurence_Fink  BlackRock  corporate_social_responsibility  Milton_Friedman  shareholder_activism  institutional_investors 
january 2018 by jerryking
BlackRock bets on Aladdin as genie of growth
MAY 18, 2017 | FT | Attracta Mooney.

Aladdin, a technology system developed by BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is also clever. It analyses the risks of investing in particular stocks, figures out where to sell bonds to get the best prices, and tracks those trades. And it is wily too, combing through huge data sets to find vital pieces of information for investors.....Launched in in 1988, when it was developed as an internal risk tool for BlackRock employees, Aladdin has become bigger, better and far more influential. It is now one of the best-known pieces of technology in the fund industry and is widely used by BlackRock’s rivals, including Deutsche Asset Management, the $733bn investment house, and Schroders, the UK’s largest listed fund manager.

But as Aladdin — which stands for Asset Liability and Debt and Derivatives Investment Network — has grown, concerns have mounted about its influence on markets. There are also questions about whether Aladdin can maintain or increase its hold on the asset management industry as rival technologies emerge.....with more and more investors using Aladdin, there are concerns about its impact on markets. The argument is that if trillions of dollars are being managed by people using the same risk system, those individuals may be more likely to make the same mistakes. i.e. Aladdin may increase systemic risk!!...Aladdin has a 9 per cent share of the 250 largest asset managers and a 15 per cent share of the insurance market, according to Credit Suisse, the Swiss bank. .......Many asset managers have recently begun the slow process of overhauling their technology systems after years of neglect. Previously, fund houses often had hundreds of different systems, but Aladdin and similar enterprise platforms allow businesses to cut out huge chunks of IT, reducing costs and jobs in the process.

At the same time, running money has become more complex and there is more regulatory scrutiny of investment decisions. This has meant that fund houses have been forced to assess how technology can help their investment processes.

“Money management is very tricky these days. Any tool that can help you with decisions is going to be highly in demand,”
........Under plans by Larry Fink, BlackRock’s chief executive, Aladdin will become an even more important source of cash for the fund giant. Mr Fink recently said that his goal is for Aladdin and the wider BlackRock solutions business to account for about 30 per cent of revenues in five years, compared with 7 per cent currently.......Even if there is a stumble in demand, BlackRock is already eyeing up other avenues for Aladdin.

In the past two years, it began promoting Aladdin, which comprises 25m lines of code, in the retail investment space, targeting wealth managers and brokers.

Last week, UBS Wealth Management Americas became the first wealth manager to say it will use Aladdin for risk management and portfolio construction......“Technology has always been a key differentiator for BlackRock. It is more essential to our business than ever before. We believe technology can transform our industry,” he said.

.......
Aladdin  asset_management  BlackRock  institutional_investors  Laurence_Fink  wealth_management  systemic_risks  order_management_system  algorithms  platforms 
january 2018 by jerryking
Navigating a Breathtaking Level of Global Economic Change
November 14, 2017 |The New York Times | by Andrew Ross Sorkin.
you’d think that any sense of “faith” in the global economy might be shaken, or at least, uncertain given events like North Korea, Russian interference in elections in the United States, post-Brexit Europe, and hurricane damage.

Not so.

In conversation after conversation with some of the nation’s top business leaders and chief executives last week, there is a stunning amount of genuine “confidence” in our economy here and, yes, even globally.

“I’m very surprised,” Laurence D. Fink, the founder of BlackRock, the largest money manager in the world overseeing some $6 trillion, said at The New York Times DealBook conference last Thursday, describing his new sense of optimism.......Mark Cuban, whose disdain for President Trump is so acute that he is considering running for president himself in 2020 as a Republican because it “means you get to go head-on with Trump right in the primaries — and so there’s nothing I’d have more fun doing.” Still, though, he said he believes the economy is in good enough shape that when it comes to investing in the stock market, “I just, you know, I just let it ride.”

Mr. Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said he keeps a small amount of cash on hand as a precaution. “I keep a little bit, you know, as a hedge. I call it my ‘Trump hedge’ because you just never know.....Earlier in 2017, The Conference Board reported that chief executives’ confidence had reached 2008 pre-recession highs in the first quarter.....there are pockets of the economy that are causing anxiety. “The last two or three years have not been fun whatsoever,” Mickey Drexler, the chairman of J. Crew, said at the conference about the traditional retail business, which has been upended by Amazon and changes in consumer behavior. “It’s been miserable.” Those challenges are extending to mall owners and commercial real estate, too..... is the stock market a proxy for the economy of America?....“In the aftermath of corporate and public-sector disasters, it often emerges that participants fell prey to a collective form of willful blindness and overconfidence: mounting warning signals were systematically cast aside or met with denial, evidence avoided or selectively reinterpreted, dissenters shunned,” Roland Bénabou a professor at Princeton University wrote in a seminal work on confidence and groupthink. “Market bubbles and manias exhibit the same pattern of investors acting ’colorblind in a sea of red flags,’ followed by a crash.”
confidence  Andrew_Sorkin  Mark_Cuban  Laurence_Fink  BlackRock  shifting_tastes  optimism  consumer_behavior  CEOs  J._Crew  Mickey_Drexler  commercial_real_estate  shopping_malls  warning_signs  groupthink  bubbles  overconfidence  precaution  global_economy  willful_blindness  manias  market_crash 
november 2017 by jerryking
BlackRock Bets on Robots to Improve Its Stock Picking - WSJ
By SARAH KROUSE
Updated March 28, 2017

The firm is offering its Main Street customers lower-cost quantitative stock funds that rely on data and computer systems to make predictions, an investment option previously available only to large institutional investors. Some existing funds will merge, get new investment mandates or close. The changes are the most significant attempt yet to rejuvenate a unit that has long lagged behind rivals in performance......The author of the company’s new strategy is former Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Chief Executive Mark Wiseman, who was hired last year to turn around the stock-picking business. The effort is the first test for Mr. Wiseman, viewed by some company observers as a potential successor to Chief Executive Laurence Fink......Many other firms that specialize in handpicking stocks are also struggling with low returns and shifting investor tastes. Since the 2008 financial crisis, clients across the money-management industry have moved hundreds of billions of dollars to lower-cost funds that track indexes, known as passive investment funds, instead of aiming to beat the market.
BlackRock  stock_picking  automation  layoffs  asset_management  institutional_investors  ETFs  Mark_Wiseman  Laurence_Fink  CPPIB  robotics  quantitative  active_investing  passive_investing  shifting_tastes  money_management  beat_the_market 
march 2017 by jerryking
At BlackRock, a Wall Street Rock Star’s $5 Trillion Comeback - The New York Times
SEPT. 15, 2016 | NYT | By LANDON THOMAS Jr.

(1) Laurence Fink: “If you think you know everything about our business, you are kidding yourself,” he said. “The biggest question we have to answer is: ‘Are we developing the right leaders?’” “Are you,” he asked, “prepared to be one of those leaders?”

(2) BlackRock was thriving because of its focus on low-risk, low-cost funds and the all-seeing wonders of Aladdin. BlackRock sees the future of finance as being rules-based, data-driven, systematic investment styles such as exchange-traded funds, which track a variety of stock and bond indexes or adhere to a set of financial rules. Fink believes that his algorithmic driven style will, over time, grow faster than the costlier “active investing” model in which individuals, not algorithms, make stock, bond and asset allocation decisions.

Most money management firms highlight their investment returns first, and risk controls second. BlackRock has taken a reverse approach: It believes that risk analysis, such as gauging how a security will trade if interest rates go up or down, improves investment results.

(3) BlackRock, along with central banks, sovereign wealth funds — have become the new arbiters of "flow.“ It is not about the flow of securities anymore, it is about the flow of information and indications of interest.”

(4) Asset Liability and Debt and Derivatives Investment Network (Aladdin), is BlackRock's big data-mining, risk-mitigation platform/framework. Aladdin is a network of code, trades, chat, algorithms and predictive models that on any given day can highlight vulnerabilities and opportunities connected to the trillions that BlackRock firm tracks — including the portion which belongs to outside firms that pay BlackRock a fee to have access to the platform. Aladdin stress-tests how securities will respond to certain situations (e.g. a sudden rise in interest rates or what happens in the event of a political surprise, like Donald J. Trump being elected president.)

In San Francisco, a team of equity analysts deploys data analysis to study the language that CEOs use during an earnings call. Unusually bearish this quarter, compared with last? If so, maybe the stock is a sell. “We have more information than anyone,” Mr. Fink said.
systematic_approaches  ETFs  Wall_Street  BlackRock  Laurence_Fink  asset_management  traders  complacency  future  finance  Aladdin  risk-management  financiers  financial_services  central_banks  money_management  information_flows  volatility  economic_downturn  liquidity  bonds  platforms  frameworks  stress-tests  monitoring  CEOs  succession  risk-analysis  leadership  order_management_system  sovereign_wealth_funds  market_intelligence  intentionality  data_mining  collective_intelligence  risk-mitigation  rules-based  risks  asset_values  scaling  scenario-planning  databases 
september 2016 by jerryking
BlackRock’s Chief, Laurence Fink, Urges Other C.E.O.s to Stop Being So Nice to Investors - NYTimes.com
APRIL 13, 2015
Continue reading the main storyVideo

PLAY VIDEO|3:24
BlackRock Chief on ‘Gambling Society’
BlackRock Chief on ‘Gambling Society’
Laurence D. Fink, chief executive of the largest asset manager in the world, warns that too many C.E.O.’s have been trying to return money to investors through dividends and buying back stock By CNBC on Publish Date April 14, 2015. Photo by Mark Lennihan/Associated Press.

Andrew Ross Sorkin
Laurence_Fink  CEOs  asset_management  Andrew_Sorkin  institutional_investors  Wall_Street  shareholder_activism  long-term  BlackRock 
april 2015 by jerryking
Laurence Fink’s Optimistic Outlook - WSJ
Jan. 30, 2015 | WSJ | Op-ed

BlackRock manages $4.65 trillion worth of assets (as of the last quarter)—the investments of individuals, governments, pension funds and other global institutions. His firm advised the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department during the 2008 financial crisis, and since then, he has spent more time advising the public sector, sharing his views and predictions with the Obama administration and world leaders...BlackRock has more than 12,000 employees and more than 135 investment teams. They manage the portfolios of more than 7,700 clients, from sovereign-wealth funds to college endowments to corporations.....China is starting to provide more public-supported pensions and health care, but “it’s a fraction of what it should be,” Mr. Fink says. He is encouraged by China’s proposed fiscal reforms, such as steps to shift the country’s debt burden toward the central government, away from local authorities, improving efficiency.....Fink believes that many people haven’t paid enough attention to the displacement caused by technology. “Think of all the people who used to be in agriculture, and now it’s all mechanized,” he says. To offset this shift, Mr. Fink thinks that governments should invest in infrastructure to provide jobs and create capital. He also thinks that successful countries will train workers to be able to do skilled jobs, such as writing computer code or building machines.
Laurence_Fink  BlackRock  WEF_Davos  op-ed  optimism  job_destruction  job_displacement 
january 2015 by jerryking
BlackRock’s Aladdin: genie not included - FT.com
July 11, 2014 | FT |By Tracy Alloway.
(Risk management technology is no substitute for investor instinct)
Aladdin is BlackRock's current, state of the art risk and order management system. Aladdin has been described as BlackRock’s “central nervous system” but what is less well-known is that the operating platform also acts as the brains at some 60 other financial firms which altogether handle a whopping $14tn worth of assets.

At banks, investment managers and trading outfits around the world, Aladdin’s genie is hard at work analysing portfolios, running stress test scenarios and generally employing BlackRock’s “collective intelligence” to perform a whole host of financial functions....the increasingly significant role that Aladdin and its 25m lines of code plays in the wider financial markets has, with notable exceptions, largely been overlooked....The role of these formulas or programs tends to go unnoticed but they often play two key roles in the build-ups to financial crises. Firstly they give investors and traders a potentially dangerous sense of control over risk. Second, as their use proliferates, they also encourage a build-up of “one-way” bets as investors increasingly come to rely on similar data and analysis.
BlackRock  Laurence_Fink  asset_management  pretense_of_knowledge  long-term  risk-management  Wall_Street  collective_intelligence  systemic_risks  order_management_system  algorithms  platforms  Aladdin  stress-tests  overconfidence  overlooked  false_confidence  scenario-planning  financial_crises 
july 2014 by jerryking
World’s largest asset manager rails against companies’ short-term thinking - The Globe and Mail
BOYD ERMAN
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 23 2014,

...Mr. Fink is worried that the great tide of economic growth is not rising as quickly as it could be because of persistent and pernicious short-term thinking. Everyone from Main Street to Wall Street to Pennsylvania Avenue is too focused on near-term waves to pay attention to what the overall water level is doing.

Blogs, polls, the story of the moment – that is what drives peoples’ thinking, he says. That means investment decisions and political moves are based on what’s happening now, and not long-term goals. The economy will bear the cost of this short-term obsession, and so will investors, Mr. Fink warns. He would like to see big changes in everything from accounting to corporate governance to government spending priorities, to reset the focus on more distant horizons....“We need executives in business to start focusing on what is right in the long run,” ...“Societies are having a hard time, politically and economically, adjusting to the immediacy of information: The 24/7 news cycle, blogs, the instantaneous information. It’s very hard. This is one of the things where we are developing a crisis.”...Mr. Fink is particularly frustrated with the lionization of activist investors in the media. Think Bill Ackman, Carl Icahn and others who push for changes that will lead to an immediate runup in the stock price,....Similarly, he is critical of accounting rules that push insurance companies to invest in shorter-term assets, rather than long-term projects such as infrastructure. “Everything is leading toward an underinvestment in infrastructure and an underinvestment in capital expenditures.”...In 1999, the company went public. It has grown incredibly fast ever since. It manages money for everyone from retail investors to pension plans. During the financial crisis, the U.S. Treasury hired BlackRock to run assets in the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and the Bank of Greece hired the company to help fix the country’s banking system. (Model for WaudWare?)
BlackRock  Laurence_Fink  asset_management  long-term  Boyd_Erman  Wall_Street  delayed_gratification  thinking  strategic_thinking  Communicating_&_Connecting  CEOs  money_management  shareholder_activism  immediacy  insurance  infrastructure  CAPEX  short-term  short-term_thinking  financial_pornography  pension_funds  underinvestments  noise  pay_attention 
may 2014 by jerryking
Larry Fink: “We need confidence back”
Jan. 24 2013 | The Globe and Mail |

BlackRock is huge. Are you getting opportunities that individual investors are not?

That's such an open-ended question that it's kind of meaningless. Is the sky blue? I have offices worldwide. I talk to clients worldwide. That's information, but it's not inside information. It's knowledge from being an active participant. We are serving our clients better by doing that. Do I have a better understanding of what's going on in the markets than an individual? I would hope so.

What were the biggest lessons investors should have learned from the financial crisis?

There were many of them. There was way too much leverage in the system, and this is one reason that economies still are not fully out of their doldrums. Institutions really didn't have a good handle on their risk in 2008, either. You could argue that, rather than too big to fail, some of them were too big to understand, too big to manage. Also, when all that leverage was sucked out at once, the whole world became correlated. That aggravated things. Hedges that people thought would minimize their exposures did not. It took a lot of liquidity and capital supplied by central banks to steady things.

Look, from an equity investor's perspective, the beauty of the world right now, and the negative, is that there's so much uncertainty, such a lack of confidence.

How would you invest $100,000 right now?

It depends on your age. If you're 22 years old, I'd put all of that into stocks. But that's me. Before I'd even answer that question, I'd ask: Tell me, how neurotic are you? Can you live with short-term losses? Can you accept the need to hold? Is your holding period 10 years, 20 years? Are you frightened of volatility? It's a cardinal sin if we think that one size fits all. And if you're looking at your mobile device every day to see what the markets are doing, to see if your $100,000 is up or down, that's not good.
Laurence_Fink  BlackRock  investing  investment_advice  liquidity  market_intelligence  questions  cash_reserves  lessons_learned  mistakes  idle_funds  confidence  problem_definition  unfair_advantages 
january 2013 by jerryking
The Colossus of Wall Street -
December 9, 2010 | BusinessWeeK | By Sheelah Kolhatkar and
Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam. Bestride the bond and equity markets,
counseling the Treasury and the Fed, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is the
most influential man you've never heard of
BlackRock  Laurence_Fink  U.S._Federal_Reserve  U.S.Treasury_Department  CEOs  Sheelah_Kolhatkar 
december 2010 by jerryking
BlackRock Wears Multiple Hats - WSJ.com
MAY 19, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by LIZ RAPPAPORT and
SUSANNE CRAIG. BlackRock's multiple hats put it in the enviable position
of having influence on setting the prices of both the assets it is
buying and selling.
BlackRock  Laurence_Fink  conflicts_of_interest  analytics 
may 2009 by jerryking

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