“People always asked me what do I care about the most for our company, and that’s an easy answer; it’s respect. Being the largest asset-management company in the world isn’t a stat that I actually care about. If we’re the most respected asset-management company in the world, that’s a pretty lofty position.”
Lawrence Fink, BlackRock
Today’s must-read profile is of BlackRock ($BLK), the asset management giant founded by Larry Fink in a one-room office in 1988. It is now the largest money manager in the world, twice the size of Pimco with over $3.5 trillion in AUM.
But it’s not size that matters to Fink, as you read in the above quote, it’s respect.
BlackRock can no longer stay behind the scenes as defined benefit plans give way to defined contribution plans. Now that people are more in control of their own assets, reaching them (and not just plan administrators, pros) becomes much more important. BlackRock has begun asserting itself in equities (44% of the company), advocating on controversial topics (corporate governance, money market fund construction) and other areas where people now expect the company to act like a leader.