Laurence D. “Larry” Fink started his company BlackRock in 1988 with seven other partners. Today, the investment firm manages over $12 Trillion worth of assets for corporations such as Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae as well as sovereign states including Singapore and the U.A.E.
Fink’s BlackRock rose to international prominence and stature in the wake of the economic meltdown of 2008. In the aftermath of the collapse of some of the biggest financial institutions in the USA, BlackRock not only managed to come out unscathed but also made a fortune in the process.
At the height of the disaster, when the American economy was on the brink, it was Fink that Wall Street’s CEOs—including JP Morgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, Morgan Stanley’s John Mack, and AIG‘s Robert Willumstad—turned to for help and counsel, just as the US treasury department did.
Soon after the meltdown, BlackRock acquired Barclay’s International investment arm, making it the world’s largest asset management firm.
Why does everyone look up to Larry Fink?
Brought in to clean up the financial mess after the 2008 economic meltdown, Larry Fink is a close confidante of former president Barack Obama. There was even speculation about him being appointed as the secretary of the treasury in 2010.
“He has a tremendous ability to network. He is always getting information, getting feedback, testing things out,”
– Ken Wilson, Senior Tresury Official and Partner at Goldman Sachs
Fink is known for his magnetic and enigmatic personality as well as his ability to cosy up to people in the highest echelons of power. He calls himself a committed democrat and has used his influence in Washington to secure some of the most coveted government contracts.
BlackRock monitors the balance sheets of US government-sponsored mortgage enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—which together amount to some $5 trillion—and provides daily risk evaluations to the The Federal Reserve Bank of New York on the $1.2 trillion worth of mortgage-backed securities it has purchased in an effort to jump-start the country’s housing market.
How does Fink do it?
The biggest part of the Larry Fink brand is ‘doing the right thing’. The persona of Fink which is calm, composed, and has the capability to make decisions to stay on the right side of history has made him a trustworthy man in global political circles.
He vehemently backs corporate social responsibility and called for the CEOs under his clientele to think about their impact on society.
“Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose…To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society”
– Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock
At a time when financial institutions are looked down on as being, ‘greedy corporates’ and bankers and investors are branded as draconian money mongers, Larry Fink remains an icon of fair-play in finance.
Fink has secured US government contracts in non-competitive biddings. BlackRock also brought the former Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne on as an advisor for its UK operations, signalling a clear strategy behind BlackRock’s ascent.
The image of a ‘good guy’ and establishing lasting connections with the political figures has brought Larry Fink to the top of the world’s economic elite.
It could only be a matter of time before Fink and Blackrock achieve a Rothschild-like stature in people’s imagination.
Laurence D Fink
Laurence D Fink