Ideas, innovations, and growth
Beginning with its founding in 1988, BlackRock’s story over a quarter of a century is about a commitment to putting clients first, innovative thinking, passion for performance and a remarkable collaboration.
Something different: 1988-1994
BlackRock began in 1988 with eight people in a single room who believed they could build a better asset management firm. They shared a determination to put client needs and interests first and a dedication to clear thinking and fact-based, data-driven investing, as well as a passion for understanding and managing risk.
Founded under the umbrella of The Blackstone Group, the firm initially focused primarily on fixed-income. By listening to clients and understanding their unmet needs, the firm was able to develop important early innovations related to closed-end funds, trusts, defined contribution plans and more. One of these was the Blackstone Term Trust, which raised $1 billion and set the business on a path of steady growth and success.
In 1992, the firm adopted the name BlackRock. By the end of that year, BlackRock had $17 billion in assets under management; at the end of 1994, the figure was $53 billion.
Seeds of Diversification: 1995-2004
Now established as BlackRock, in 1995 the firm became a subsidiary of the bank holding company, PNC Financial, and soon began managing open-end mutual funds, including equity funds. The association with PNC gave BlackRock access to PNC’s large distribution network and opportunities for diversification through alliances and mergers with PNC affiliates specializing in equity and other investments.
As it diversified, the firm developed the concept of One BlackRock, which would become a core principle. Where many companies were structured with autonomous business units, BlackRock insisted instead on a coordinated platform. Managing fixed-income, equity and other businesses together, BlackRock put in place a client-centric business model in which the entire firm’s resources and products can be leveraged for the benefit of clients.
In 1999, BlackRock went public with broad employee ownership. By the end of that year, the firm had $165 billion in assets under management and that figure would grow to $342 billion by the end of 2004.