BlackRock outlines investment push into private markets

By Kate Duguid

NEW YORK (Reuters) -BlackRock Inc, the world’s largest asset manager, is pushing more aggressively into private market investments, the firm detailed at an investor presentation on Thursday.

Since interest rates were slashed to near-zero across the globe at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, investors have sought out other sources of yield. BlackRock, in its investor day presentation on Thursday, said alternative investments – including private equity, real estate, hedge funds and venture capital – can offer a market-beating edge. Private market investments recorded 18% revenue growth for the company last year, twice the rate of the broader industry.

BlackRock, which manages $279 billion in alternative assets, said its portfolio advisory business is moving away from the traditional model of a 60% equity, 40% fixed income breakdown in portfolios in favor of a 50% public equity, 30% bonds and 20% private markets split.

The firm also outlined the opportunities for growth it sees in China. A spokesperson for BlackRock said this has picked up momentum since the firm in May received a license in China for a majority-owned wealth management venture, the country’s fast-growing asset management market.

BlackRock’s chief executive Larry Fink told investors on Thursday that he has no plans to leave the firm anytime soon, but is confident that when he does it will be “in good hands.” CNBC among other media outlets reported last year that top donors to then-candidate Joe Biden’s campaign were floating Fink’s name for possible roles in the administration.

Fink founded BlackRock in 1988 along with seven partners, according to the firm’s website

(Reporting by Kate DuguidEditing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio)