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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Fink Spills Secrets of BlackRock's Success

by: Theresa Sim

Looking for tips on what makes the self-described Microsoft of the asset management industry tick? Typically low-key BlackRock CEO Laurence Fink tells all in a recent issue of Barron's.

Ironically, one of the reasons the bond manager has done so well is precisely for keeping a low profile, says Fink: "We're convinced that our customers, those big institutions, would prefer not to see our names in the financial press day in and day outůSo, we've deliberately kept a pretty low profile. After all, bonds are a pretty boring business. What's important to us is the BlackRock name."

Count low employee turnover (and generous compensation) as another driver: "What's so gratifying about what we've been able to do here is to grow into our middle-age together. There are no plans to break up the team, though I have to confess, if I were to go the place would barely skip a beat."

What's up ahead for BlackRock? The firm is expanding international operations through relationships with Japanese money manger Nomura Asset Management and Australian firm Westpac, and moving into equities with its acquisition of Boston-based State Street Research.

"We're in the early stages of development. It's probably the next story," Ben W. Golub, managing director at BlackRock, told Barron's

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