If someone asked you, who is the largest investor on the planet, would you know how to answer? Now you do. His name is Larry Fink (Laurence D. Fink to be precise), and he is the chairman and chief executive officer of an investment company called BlackRock.
Why is he considered the largest investor in the world? Because his company manages over 3.6 trillion of dollars in assets, the largest sum around the world (this amount, in fact, is largest than what most developed countries produce in a year…).
And if you want an idea of who is giving him money to manage, check out these names: Cisco Systems, Fedex, Walmart, not to mention the pension funds of many U.S. states!
If you are wondering how he got started, here is a quotation from his Wikipedia page:
Fink started his career at First Boston upon graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles. After moving on to heading First Boston’s bond department, Fink was instrumental in the creation and development of the mortgage-backed security market in the United States.
In 1988, Fink moved to private equity firm Blackstone as a partner; in 1988, BlackRock, an investment management firm, was founded as a subsidiary of Blackstone with Fink as its CEO. In 1992, BlackRock was spun off from Blackstone and became an independent company. Fink remained chairman and CEO. Today, BlackRock is the world’s largest asset management firm with over $3.5 trillion in assets under management.
His company not only manages financial assets for other companies and investors, but it also audits and monitors the performance of many funds and organizations, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. If you combine those two things the sum is over $12 trillion. Ouch!
Not surprisingly his influence goes way beyond the investing and asset management industry. People say he had a very important role helping the TED to evaluate and produce an action plan to combat the toxic assets that most banks had during the last financial crises.
One final question: do you think he invests in gold? I do!