BlackRock: An Adolescent In An Industry of 55-Year-Old White Males
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Monday, February 22, 2016

BlackRock: An Adolescent In An Industry of 55-Year-Old White Males

"BlackRock is one of a kind but is still working on being the best of all kinds of money managers."

Laurence D. Fink
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
So argues Dan Culloton, Morningstar's associate director of active strategies, in a column analyzing the corporate culture of BlackRock [profile], the world's largest asset manager.

M* points out the publicly-traded giant's relative youth:

"More than half of its employees have joined the company since 2008, just before its last transformational merger," Culloton writes. "As one former executive said, BlackRock is an adolescent in an industry of 55-year-old white males. That infuses it with energy and ideas, but that also means it is still developing."

The piece highlights possible strengths and weaknesses at BlackRock, such as consistent leadership (Larry Fink and Rob Kapito), its "operational prowess" (especially in integrating giant acquisitions like MLIM and BGI), and Fink's use of his bully pulpit. Yet M* also highlights pains and concerns that have come with BlackRock's dramatic growth, pains and concerns that can serve as reminders or as words of caution for other fundsters: manager retention, spotty performance, and earnings pressure.

Robert Kapito
President, Director
BlackRock watchers, fundsters with a yearning to take their firms public, and acquisitive executives should read the full piece.

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