Laurence D. Fink
|Born||1952 (age 60–61)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of California, Los
Laurence Douglas "Larry" Fink (born 1952) is the chairman and chief executive officer of BlackRock, an American multinational investment management corporation. BlackRock is the largest money-management firm in the world by assets under management.
Early life and education
Larry Fink grew up in a Jewish family in Van Nuys, California, where his mother was an English professor, and his father owned a shoe store. He earned a BA in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1974. He then received an MBA at the UCLA Anderson School of Management (then known as the UCLA Graduate School of Management) in 1976.
Fink started his career in 1976 at First Boston, a large New York-based investment bank. Eventually taking charge of First Boston's bond department, Fink was instrumental in the creation and development of the mortgage-backed security market in the United States. At First Boston, Fink was a member of the Management Committee, a Managing Director, and co-head of the Taxable Fixed Income Division; he also started the Financial Futures and Options Department, and headed the Mortgage and Real Estate Products Group.
Fink added as much as $1 billion to First Boston’s bottom line, and was successful at the bank up until 1986, when his department lost $100 million due to his incorrect prediction about where interest rates were headed. Fink learned from this experience to more fully understand the risks, and he decided to start a company that would not merely invest clients' money, but would provide sophisticated risk management as well.
CEO of BlackRock
In 1988, Fink co-founded BlackRock under the corporate umbrella of The Blackstone Group, and became a Director and CEO of BlackRock. When BlackRock split from Blackstone in 1994, Fink retained his positions (as Director and CEO), which he continued to hold after BlackRock became a more independent corporate entity in 1998. His other positions at the company have included Chairman of the Board, Chairman of the Executive and Leadership Committees, Chair of Corporate Council, and Co-Chair of the Global Client committee.
BlackRock went public in 1999. By 2003, the American financial establishment relied on Larry Fink to such an extent that he helped to negotiate the resignation of the CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Grasso, who was being widely criticized for his $190 million pay package.
Despite great success, Fink has also had some setbacks at BlackRock, the greatest one being the ill-fated purchase of a Manhattan housing complex for $5.4 billion in 2006. It was the largest residential-real-estate deal in U.S. history up until that time, and the housing complex ended up in default. BlackRock clients lost their money, including the California Pension and Retirement System which lost about $500 million. Also in 2006, Fink made perhaps his best business decision, deciding to merge with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, which doubled BlackRock’s asset management portfolio.
The U.S. government contracted with BlackRock to help clean up after the financial meltdown of 2008. Although BlackRock is widely believed to have been the best choice for the cleanup job, Fink's longstanding relationships with senior government officials have led to questions about potential conflict of interest regarding government contracts awarded without competitive bidding.
In December of 2009, BlackRock purchased Barclays Global Investors, at which point the company that Fink co-founded 22 years previously became the largest money-management firm on the planet. Despite his great influence, he is not widely known for that influence, and instead is more familiar from his regular appearances on CNBC. BlackRock paid Fink $23.6 million in 2010.
Alongside his career at BlackRock, Fink serves on the board of trustees of New York University, where he holds various chairmanships including chair of the Financial Affairs Committee. He also co-chairs the NYU Langone Medical Center board of trustees, and is a trustee of the Boys' Club of New York.
According to an interviewer, he takes the train rather than his private jet, a Gulfstream G-550, when he spends time at his 26-acre country estate in North Salem, New York, about 50 miles from his NYC office.
Fink has been married to his wife, Lori, since the mid-1970s. Aside from homes in Manhattan and North Salem, they also have a home in Vail, Colorado. He enjoys fly fishing and skiing, and has a collection of American folk art. The Finks have three children and are also grandparents. He is a lifelong Democrat.
- "Laurence Fink: Executive Profile & Biography", Businessweek.
- Davidson, Andrew; Goldsmith, Marshall (2009). 1000 CEOs. Penguin.
- "Profile: Laurence D. Fink". Forbes.com. Forbes.com LLC. 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
- Suzanna Andrews: Larry Fink’s $12 Trillion Shadow, Vanity Fair, April 2010
- Kaminer, Michael (3 September 2010). "Jews Dominate Vanity Fair 100 Most Influential Moguls List". The Jewish Daily Forward (Israel). Retrieved September 3, 2010.
- "CEO Compensation: #55 Laurence D Fink". Forbes.com. Forbes.com LLC. April 22, 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
- "Profile: Laurence D. Fink (MBA '76)". Fink Center for Finance & Investments. Los Angeles: UCLA. 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
- "Laurence Fink - News, Articles, Biography, Photos - WSJ.com", Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
- Andrews, Suzanna. Larry Fink’s $12 Trillion Shadow, Vanity Fair, April 2010: "There is little doubt among the financial establishment in Washington and on Wall Street that BlackRock was the best choice to handle the government’s problems."
- "The Wall Street Journal/Hay Group Survey of CEO Compensation". The Wall Street Journal. May 8, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
- "A Second-Generation Fink Rises in Finance". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). 8 September 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
- Whitehouse, Kaja (7 September 2008). "Chip Off The Blackrock". New York Post (New York, New York: NYP Holdings, Inc). Retrieved 28 January 2010.
- Miles Costello: Business big shot: Larry Fink,The Times, June 8, 2009