BlackRock Downplays How Big It Is in Wake of Warren Backlash
(Bloomberg) -- BlackRock Inc. pushed a message to investors that may seem surprising coming from a $9 trillion asset manager: We’re not really that big.
Its revenue comprises just 3% of the industry’s, a smaller proportion compared to the very top players in other sectors, senior managers of the New York-based firm said Thursday during an investor-day presentation.
In cloud-computing, the top five players hold more than two-thirds of the market share, and in sales and trading the top five command 42%. The concentration among the top five asset managers, including BlackRock, the world’s biggest, is about 11%, according to the firm’s presentation.
“We have a very long way to grow,” said Mark Wiedman, BlackRock’s head of corporate strategy. “We may be the leader, but we have only a 3% market share in global asset management. That is extremely low versus our potential.”
Lawmakers are scrutinizing BlackRock’s scale and influence. U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, questioned Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in March about whether she would request that market overseers consider labeling BlackRock a systemically important financial institution, or one deemed too big to fail.
The designation comes with requirements on how much capital such firms need to shore themselves up against potential losses.
Barbara Novick, the BlackRock co-founder who helped advocate for the firm as it avoided the SIFI label that’s applied to Wall Street banks, retired in February -- a decision was delayed for a year because of the pandemic. BlackRock hired former Securities and Exchange Commission official Dalia Blass to run external affairs and public policy in May.
Over more than three decades, BlackRock grew from managing bonds as a division of Blackstone Group Inc. to overseeing a sum more than twice the size of Germany’s gross domestic product. BlackRock has emphasized that it manages money on behalf of clients, rather than putting capital at risk in the way major banks did ahead of the 2008 financial crisis.
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