Letter to shareholders


IT’S A Catalyst

There is no force more dramatic today than technology and its potential to transform the asset management industry — from the way we generate alpha, to the way we deliver investment solutions to clients, to the way we operate. BlackRock has always embraced technology as a catalyst for growth.

 “Rob Goldstein, Chief Operating Officer and Global Head of BlackRock Solutions”

Rob Goldstein, Chief Operating Officer and Global Head of BlackRock Solutions


We built Aladdin, our unified investment and risk management platform, to better understand risk and manage portfolios on behalf of our clients.


by providing a view into markets, investing and risk at a global and local level. It has connected people all over the world, at BlackRock and beyond.

Aladdin is also relied on by other asset managers and institutions, like banks and insurance companies. We have more than 180 external Aladdin clients and the business generated a record $595 million of revenue in 2016, which grew 13% from 2015.

It is our priority to lead the industry in data-driven decision making across investments, operations and distribution; to explore the potential that new technologies offer in designing and delivering holistic client outcomes.

Think of BlackRock as a startup with the ability to leverage the benefits of scale.

Aladdin Risk for Wealth Management (“ARWM”)

In 2016, we took Aladdin beyond its institutional client base and launched ARWM, which leverages Aladdin’s analytical horsepower to lead wealth managers through the changing distribution landscape. ARWM, which is already seeing high levels of demand from our intermediary partners, was born out of an idea from our 2014 Hackathon, an annual firm-wide competition that encourages innovative ideas from all levels of the organization.


We built iRetire to redirect the retirement conversation away from the traditional nest egg to instead focus on the estimated income individuals will need each year in retirement.


We acquired FutureAdvisor to provide high quality, scalable, digitally enabled advice capabilities to our distribution partners.


We also invested in iCapital, a technology solution to deliver illiquid alternative investments to retail clients and their financial advisors.

We will continue to use technology as a catalyst to shape how we deliver solutions for our clients in the next era of asset management.