Laurence Douglas Fink
November 2, 1952
|Education||University of California, Los Angeles (BA, MBA)|
|Title||Chairman and CEO, BlackRock|
Laurence Douglas Fink (born November 2, 1952) is an American billionaire businessman. He is the chairman and CEO of BlackRock, an American multinational investment management corporation. BlackRock is the largest money-management firm in the world with more than US$10 trillion in assets under management, giving the firm enormous power over the global financial system. In April 2022, Fink's net worth was estimated at US$1 billion according to Forbes Magazine. He sits on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and World Economic Forum.
Early life and education
Fink was born on November 2, 1952. He grew up one of three children in a Jewish family in Van Nuys, California, where his mother Lila (1930-2012) was an English professor and his father Frederick (1925-2013) owned a shoe store. He earned a BA in Political Science from UCLA in 1974. Fink is also a member of Kappa Beta Phi. He then received an MBA in Real Estate at the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management in 1976.
1970 to 2000
Fink started his career in 1976 at First Boston, a New York-based investment bank, where he was one of the first mortgage-backed security traders and eventually managed the firm's bond department. 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 "by some estimates" $1 billion to First Boston's bottom line. He was successful at the bank until 1986, when his department lost $100 million due to his incorrect prediction about interest rates. The experience influenced his decision to start a company that would invest clients' money while also incorporating comprehensive risk management.
In 1988, under the corporate umbrella of The Blackstone Group, Fink co-founded BlackRock and became its director and CEO. When BlackRock split from Blackstone in 1994, Fink retained his positions, which he continued to hold after BlackRock became more independent 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.
In 2003, Fink helped to negotiate the resignation of the CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Grasso, who was widely criticized for his $190 million pay package. In 2006 Fink led the merger with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, which doubled BlackRock's asset management portfolio. That same year, BlackRock's $5.4 billion purchase of Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village, a Manhattan housing complex, became the largest residential-real-estate deal in U.S. history. When the project ended in default, BlackRock clients lost their money, including the California Pension and Retirement System, which lost about $500 million.
The U.S. government contracted with BlackRock to help clean up after the financial meltdown of 2008. Fink's longstanding relationships with senior government officials have led to questions about potential conflict of interest regarding government contracts awarded without competitive bidding. BlackRock's contract allowed Fink to cultivate relationships with Obama's first Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and additional members of the Obama economic recovery team. In 2016 Fink hoped to become part of the federal government himself as Hillary Clinton's Treasury Secretary. At the same time, Blackrock hired many former executive branch appointees to its firm including Cheryl Mills, Christopher Meade, Katheryn Rosen, Michael Pyle, Coryann Stefansson, Gary Reeder, and Ken Wilson. This move strengthened BlackRock's revolving door with the federal government.
In December 2009, BlackRock purchased Barclays Global Investors, at which point the company became the largest money-management firm in the world. Despite his great influence, Fink is not widely known publicly, apart from his regular appearances on CNBC. BlackRock paid Fink $23.6 million in 2010, and $36 million in 2021. By 2016, BlackRock had $5 trillion under management, with 12,000 employees in 27 countries.
In 2016, Fink received the ABANA Achievement Award in New York City. It recognizes an individual who exemplifies outstanding leadership in banking and finance and has a commitment to positive professional cooperation between the US and the Middle East and North Africa.
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 and Girls Club of New York. Fink is also on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation. Fink founded the Lori and Laurence Fink Center for Finance & Investments at UCLA Anderson in 2009, and currently serves as chairman of the board.
In his 2018 annual open letter to CEOs, he called for corporations to play an active role in improving the environment, working to better their communities, and increasing the diversity of their workforces. This has been taken as evidence of a move by BlackRock, one of the largest public investors, to proactively enforce these targets. In his 2019 open letter, Fink said that companies and their CEOs must step into a leadership vacuum to tackle social and political issues when governments fail to address these issues.
In his 2020 annual open letter, Fink announced environmental sustainability as core goal for BlackRock's future investment decisions. In this letter, he explained how climate will become a driver in economics, affecting all aspects of the economy. He also divulged in a separate letter (to investors) that BlackRock will be cutting ties with previous investments involving thermal coal and other investments that have a large environmental risk.
Larry Fink is also longtime donor and supporter of the New York City Police Foundation: a group that provides financial support to the New York City Police Department. The non-profit Color of Change called on Fink to divest from the NYC Police Foundation in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and subsequent nationwide protests.
Fink has been married to his wife Lori since 1974 and owns homes in Manhattan, North Salem, New York, and Vail, Colorado. The couple has three children. Joshua, their eldest son, was CEO of Enso Capital, a now defunct hedge fund in which Fink had a stake. Fink is a lifelong supporter of the Democratic Party.
In his 2018 annual letter to shareholders, Fink stated that other companies should be aware of their impact on society, however, anti-war organizations are discontent with Fink's statement, because his company, BlackRock, is the largest investor in weapon manufacturers through its U.S. Aerospace and Defense ETF. In September 2018, an activist with the U.S. non-profit organization Code Pink confronted Fink on stage at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit.
In December 2021, BlackRock teamed up with a Saudi asset manager to pay $15.5 billion to buy and then lease back pipelines to Saudi Aramco.
However, Fink has been largely vocal on companies taking action on climate change, and in an open letter in 2022 stated “Every company and every industry will be transformed by the transition to a net-zero world. The question is, will you lead, or will you be led?”.
- 2007, Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement
- 2015, Appeal of Conscience Award
- 2015, Americas Society Gold Medal
- 2016, UCLA Medal
- 2019, Charles Schwab Financial Innovation Award
- "Profile: Laurence D. Fink". Forbes. 2010. Archived from the original on February 6, 2010. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
- Podder, Sohini; Krauskopf, Lewis (January 14, 2022). "BlackRock assets cross $10 trillion, revenue slightly misses". Reuters.com. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
- Suzanna Andrews: Larry Fink's $12 Trillion Shadow, Vanity Fair, April 2010
- "BlackRock hits record $6 trillion assets, helped by Trump tax law". Reuters. January 12, 2018. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
- "Larry Fink - 2022 Billionaires Net Worth". Forbes. Retrieved May 4, 2022.
- "Board of Trustees", World Economic Forum
- "Board of Directors", Council on Foreign Relations
- "Laurence Fink: Executive Profile & Biography", Businessweek.
- Davidson, Andrew; Goldsmith, Marshall (2009). 1000 CEOs. Penguin. ISBN 9780756661243.
- Kaminer, Michael (September 3, 2010). "Jews Dominate Vanity Fair 100 Most Influential Moguls List". The Jewish Daily Forward. Israel. Archived from the original on June 29, 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2010.
- Roose, Kevin (2014). Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street's Post-Crash Recruits. London, UK: John Murray (Publishers), An Hachette UK Company. p. 208. ISBN 978-1-47361-161-0.
- "CEO Compensation: #55 Laurence D Fink". Forbes. April 22, 2009. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
- Wigglesworth, Robin (October 7, 2021). "The ten trillion dollar man: how Larry Fink became king of Wall St". Financial Times. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
- "Profile: Laurence D. Fink (MBA '76)". Fink Center for Finance & Investments. Los Angeles: UCLA. 2010. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
- "Laurence Fink - News, Articles, Biography, Photos - WSJ.com", Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
- "Corporate History". Archived from the original on May 17, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
- Andrews, Suzanna. "Larry Fink's $12 Trillion Shadow". Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
- VerHage, Julie (January 9, 2016). "BlackRock's Fink Hoping Hillary is Ticket to Treasury Post". FOXBusiness. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
- "The BlackRock Revolving Door – BlackRock Transparency Project". blackrocktransparencyproject.org. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
- "The Wall Street Journal/Hay Group Survey of CEO Compensation". The Wall Street Journal. May 8, 2011. Archived from the original on October 16, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
- Vandevelde, Mark (April 14, 2022). "BlackRock chief executive Larry Fink's pay rose to $36mn in 2021". Financial Times. Retrieved April 15, 2022.
- BlackRock shapes shifts NYTimes, September 16, 2016
- "About Us | BlackRock". BlackRock. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
- "2016 ABANA Achievement Award Dinner". ABANA. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
- "Larry Fink". Forbes. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
- Zuckerman, Gregory; Lim, Dawn (May 10, 2020). "Big Money Managers Take Lead Role in Managing Coronavirus Stimulus". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
- "Governance". Robin Hood Foundation. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- The Laurence and Lori Fink Center for Finance & Investments, Los Angeles, California: UCLA Anderson School of Management, retrieved July 22, 2017
- "Board Leadership | UCLA Anderson School of Management". anderson.ucla.edu. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
- Bryan, Bob (December 2, 2016). "Trump is forming an economic advisory team with the CEOs of Disney, General Motors, JPMorgan, and more". Business Insider. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
- "Terms and conditions". BlackRock.
- Weinbar, Sharon. "How big money can drive diversity in venture capital – TechCrunch". techcrunch.com. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
- Sorkin, Andrew Ross (January 17, 2019). "World's Biggest Investor Tells C.E.O.s Purpose Is the 'Animating Force' for Profits". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
- Merced, Michael J. de la; Sorkin, Andrew Ross (October 15, 2018). "Blackstone and BlackRock Chiefs Withdraw From Saudi Conference". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
- "Larry Fink's Letter to CEOs". BlackRock. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
- Sorkin, Andrew Ross (January 14, 2020). "BlackRock C.E.O. Larry Fink: Climate Crisis Will Reshape Finance". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
- Nacu-Schmidt, Ami. "Media and Climate Change Observatory Monthly Summary: If you think you've heard this story before, you haven't seen anything yet - Issue 37, January 2020". scholar.colorado.edu.
- Murphy, Paul P. "Three police officers appeared to kneel on George Floyd in new video". CNN. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
- "Color of Change Calls on Larry Fink to Stop Supporting NYC Police Foundation". Institutional Investor. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
- Copeland, Rob (September 22, 2014). "Financial Elite's Offspring Start Their Own Hedge Funds". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
- "A Second-Generation Fink Rises in Finance". The New York Times Company. September 8, 2008. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
- Lindsey Rae, Gjording (January 23, 2018). "Larry Fink calls on CEOs to realize their companies' social responsibility". DW.com. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
- "iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF". BlackRock.com. 2019. Archived from the original on November 3, 2019. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
- English, Carleton (September 20, 2018). "Larry Fink blitzed by war protesters at conference". New York Post. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
- "BlackRock's Larry Fink tells fellow CEOs that businesses are not 'climate police'". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
- "Larry Fink's Annual 2022 Letter to CEOs". BlackRock. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
- "The dirty dozen: meet America's top climate villains". the Guardian. October 27, 2021. Retrieved October 19, 2022.
- "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". www.achievement.org. American Academy of Achievement.
- "2007". Academy of Achievement. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
- "Appeal of Conscience Foundation to Honor Laurence D. Fink, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BlackRock, with 2015 Appeal of Conscience Award". Cision PR Newswire.
- "Americas Society 35th Annual Spring Party Honoring Miguel Alemán Velasco and Laurence D. Fink". Americas Society / Council of the Americas.
- "BlackRock chairman Laurence Fink receives UCLA Medal". UCLA Newsroom.
- "Museum of American Finance to Honor Laurence D. Fink and Dr. Janet Yellen at 2019 Gala". Museum of American Finance.
- Membership at Trilateral Commission
- Board of Trustees at World Economic Forum
- Board of Directors at Council on Foreign Relations
- Lori and Laurence Fink Center for Finance & Investments