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Monday, April 10, 2017

Fink Walks a Fine Line

News summary by MFWire's editors

It must be nice to be Larry Fink. Even when you don’t say much of anything at all, people will still write about you.

Larry Fink
Blackrock
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
In a widely-covered, albeit relatively uneventful, interview on CNBC’s "Squawk Box," Fink spent some time explaining his recent shake-up of BlackRock's equity business.

“Let me be clear: we are not substituting humans for machines,” Fink said on the show. He meant "not substituting machines for humans." Whoops, bad slip.

He says that the jobs that were cut are not going away entirely — instead, he's reorienting these employees to positions focused on data science and data analysis.

"We'll have the same amount of employees in our equity division in a year from now [as] we have today," Fink says.

Yet, even if Fink doesn't believe robots are taking over the world, he's positioned his business to dominate the industry just in case they do. With the firm's scale and financial muscle, quantitative active management is a game that the BlackRock can win.

Plus, the most recent appointee to the asset manager's board of directors, Cisco CEO, Chuck Robbins, suggests that Fink might believe in a robot takeover a little more than he's letting on.

Fortune, CNBC, and Business Insider covered Fink's appearance. Reuters, CityWire, TheStreet, and the Wall Street Journal reported on Robbins' appointment to BlackRock's board.  

Edited by: Katy Golvala


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