Alternative investing at BlackRock

With a challenging economic outlook, investors need to understand the drivers of portfolio returns and apply the right blend across index and alpha strategies to build resilient portfolios.


As a core strategic building block, alternatives bring diversification and long-term risk adjusted returns to the well-balanced portfolio of the future.

Capital at risk. All financial investments involve an element of risk. Therefore, the value of the investment and the income from it will vary and the initial investment amount cannot be guaranteed.

Alternative investments are essential

New to alternative investing? Here are a few key terms and how we define them at BlackRock. Already investing in alternatives?

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Defining alternatives

What is alternative investing?

Alternative investments are assets that don’t fall into traditional categories such as stocks, bonds, or cash. They provide a counterweight for portfolio diversification – and some hard assets can effectively hedge against inflation.

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Types of alternatives

What are the types of alternative investments?

There are two main types of alternative investments. First are private assets such as private equity, private credit, infrastructure, and real estate. They are more complex and less frequently traded than public stocks and bonds – and give investors access to additional sources of return. Hedge funds are the second type.

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Private equity

What is private equity?

Private equity refers to capital not listed on a public exchange. Institutional and retail investors provide the capital for private equity, investing directly into private companies or engaging in buyouts that delist public equity.

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Private credit

What is private credit?

Private credit (sometimes referred to as “direct lending” or “private lending”) is an alternative to bank lending for businesses that want to raise capital. Private credit is a debt that is not issued or traded on the public markets.

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Hedge funds

What are hedge funds

Hedge funds are the second in type of alternative investments and represent a core pillar of our alternatives platform at BlackRock. They are pooled investment funds that are actively managed using complex trading techniques in an attempt to improve performance. These may include leverage, short selling, and derivatives.

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Real assets

What are real assets?

Our real assets teams help clients target their investments toward either real estate or infrastructure – helping meet their investment goals by providing a distinct range of well-defined, outcome-oriented strategies along the risk-return spectrum.


BlackRock is tomorrow’s alternatives platform

As alternative investments become increasingly critical, we continue to evolve and innovate our alternatives platform – leveraging our technology, our scale, and our fiduciary model to better serve our clients now and in the future.

Over $9.5B managed in sustainable alternative investment strategies with 30+ ESG champions1
Our $326B alternatives platform seeks to deliver outperformance with true partnership1
Alternatives are expected to reach $23T AUM by 20262

Our approach to alternatives

Our approach to alternatives at BlackRock is scalable, technology-enabled, and based on fiduciary partnership.
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High-quality opportunities
We have relationships across thousands of companies for a higher level of access and diligence: ~9,000 deals reviewed annually with a ~5% deployment rate. 3
An integrated view
We provide clients with an integrated view of their entire portfolio, giving them a deeper understanding of how alternatives will impact the reviewst of the portfolio.
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Improved transparency
We use advanced technology to provide more clarity and improved return potential, with 90,000 unique companies and 50,000 properties tracked daily by eFront4
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A higher standard of alignment
We are a true partner that aims to deliver better value with strategies and structures that are reflective of investor goals. Sustainable investing is at our core.

1. BlackRock as of 30 December 2022, Client assets include AUM and non-fee-paying uninvested commitments (i.e., committed capital/dry powder) from (i) BLK Core Alternatives, which includes Direct Hedge Funds managed across BLK’s investment platform and (ii) liquid credit assets. “Core Alternatives” means the “Alternatives” AUM reported in BLK’s form 10-K and 10-Q, excluding currencies and commodities. All amounts in USD.

2. Preqin. Annualized AUM as of 30/6/2021, except Hedge Funds data which is from HFR Industry Reports as of 31/10/2021. $23T AUM estimate from 12/1/2022  Preqin “Alternatives in 2022” Report. All dollar figures are in USD. Forecasts are not guaranteed and subject to change.

3. 2022 year-end annualised figure.

4. Figures refer to efront platform , 30 December 2022

Explore alternative investment strategies at BlackRock


BlackRock private equity platform

Private equity is an essential element of investors’ portfolios. Our platform takes a holistic approach to investors’ private equity portfolios and is designed to offer strategies and solutions that align with client objectives and deliver persistent outperformance.

Learn about private equity

BlackRock private credit platform

Discover leveraged finance, multi-strategy, and credit solutions across both public and private credit markets – powered by our global platform.

Learn about credit investing

BlackRock real assets platform (real estate and infrastructure)

Our real assets teams help clients target their investments toward either real estate or infrastructure – helping meet their investment goals by providing a distinct range of well-defined, outcome-oriented strategies along the risk-return spectrum.

Learn about real assets

BlackRock hedge fund platform

With over twenty years of proven experience, our hedge fund platform is differentiated in its combination of skill and scale – delivering solutions span geographies, asset classes and styles.

Meet our alternatives team

The BlackRock Alternatives team of 1400+ dedicated professionals partners with the firm’s multidisciplinary teams and leverages extensive company-wide resources in an effort to deliver consistent returns over the long term.


Edwin N. Conway
Global Head of BlackRock Alternatives
Edwin N. Conway, is responsible for BlackRock’s alternatives strategy and the delivery of the firm’s alternatives investments to institutional clients.

Let us help you build a more resilient portfolio

Through our BlackRock Portfolio Analysis and Solutions (BPAS) consultancy services, we’ve partnered with over 800 investors¹ to deliver innovative solutions and insights that help solve their client portfolio challenges. Discover some of the ways we could support your investment decisions.

Learn more about BPAS

1BlackRock Portfolio Analysis and Solutions from Jan 2018 – May 2021