BlackRock, Inc. is an American multinational investment management corporation based in New York City. Founded in 1988, initially as a risk management and fixed income institutional asset manager, BlackRock is the world's largest asset manager, with $7.81 trillion in assets under management as of end-Q4 2020. BlackRock operates globally with 70 offices in 30 countries and clients in 100 countries. Due to its power, and the sheer size and scope of its financial assets and activities, BlackRock has been called the world's largest shadow bank. Along with Vanguard and State Street, BlackRock is considered one of the Big Three index funds that dominate corporate America.21 In January 2020 BlackRock announced that it would begin divestment from thermal coal and take other measures to make its assets more sustainable.
In 2010, Ralph Schlosstein, the CEO of Evercore Partners and a BlackRock founder, called BlackRock "the most influential financial institution in the world." On 1 April 2011, due to Sanofi's acquisition of Genzyme, BlackRock replaced it on the S&P 500 index.
In 2013, Fortune listed BlackRock on its annual list of the world's 50 Most Admired Companies. In 2014, The Economist said that BlackRock's $4 trillion under management made it the "world's biggest asset manager", and it was larger than the world's largest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China with $3 trillion. In May of the same year, BlackRock invested in Snapdeal.
In December 2014 a BlackRock managing director in London was banned by the British Financial Conduct Authority for failing the "fit and proper" test, because he paid £43,000 to avoid prosecution for dodging train fares. BlackRock said, "Jonathan Burrows left BlackRock earlier this year. What he admitted to the FCA is totally contrary to our values and principles."
At the end of 2014, the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute reported that 65% of Blackrock's assets under management were made up of institutional investors.
By June 30, 2015, BlackRock had US$4.721 trillion of assets under management. On August 26, 2015, BlackRock entered into a definitive agreement to acquire FutureAdvisor, a digital wealth management provider with reported assets under management of $600 million. Under the deal, FutureAdvisor would operate as a business within BlackRock Solutions (BRS). BlackRock announced in November 2015 that they would wind down the BlackRock Global Ascent hedge fund after losses. The Global Ascent fund had been its only dedicated global macro fund, as BlackRock was "better known for its mutual funds and exchange traded funds." At the time, BlackRock managed $51 billion in hedge funds, with $20 billion of that in funds of hedge funds.
In March 2017, the Financial Times announced that BlackRock, after a six-month review led by Mark Wiseman, had initiated a restructuring of its $8bn actively-managed fund business, resulting in the departure of seven portfolio managers and a $25m charge in Q2, replacing certain funds with quantitative investment strategies. In May 2017, BlackRock increased its stake in both CRH plc and Bank of Ireland. By April 2017, iShares business accounted for $1.41tn, or 26 percent, of BlackRock's total assets under management, and 37 percent of BlackRock’s base fee income. In April 2017, BlackRock backed the inclusion of mainland Chinese shares in MSCI's global index for the first time.
Between October and December 2018, BlackRock's assets dropped by US$468bn and fell below $6tn. It was the largest decline between quarters since September 2011.
As of 2019, BlackRock holds 4.81% of Deutsche Bank, making it the single largest shareholder. This investment goes back to at least 2016.
In May 2019, BlackRock received criticism for the environmental impact of its holdings. It is counted among the top three shareholders in every oil "supermajor" except Total, and it is among the top 10 shareholders in 7 of the 10 biggest coal producers.