Urban Road

It’s time to re-think your fixed income allocation

After decades of historically low yields, investors have been underweight duration and many took on more risk to reach return objectives. With the move higher in rates, fixed income can again provide ballast for a portfolio and investors are revisiting underweights. It’s time to re-assess what’s inside your fixed income allocation.

When you’re navigating any challenging environment the best approach is to remain active and flexible.

In a highly-volatile setting, we don’t rely on outsized positions or big bets on difficult-to-predict macro trends. We stay agile and make smaller, opportunistic moves.

By staying nimble, unconstrained, and well-diversified we’re able to keep our options open to seize attractive opportunities wherever they become available.

The destination remains the same, but especially in conditions like this, the wisest path is to make a little bit of money a lot of times.

Navigating fixed income opportunities in a volatile market environment

Rick Rieder, Managing Director, BlackRock’s Chief Investment Officer of Global Fixed Income and Head of the Global Allocation Investment team, gives an update on how to seize attractive fixed income opportunities in today’s market environment.

Why BlackRock for fixed income?

BlackRock offers a comprehensive fixed income platform, managing assets across the entire Fixed Income spectrum – from public to private, fundamental & systematic, active & index – to help deliver better outcomes, convenience, value, and transparency for our clients.

Global expertise
Deep knowledge in asset classes, sectors and geographic markets enable us to help find relative value across fixed income assets and uncover hidden opportunities.
Differentiated sourcing
Strong counterparty connectivity and access to deal flow across private and public markets provides our clients access to high-quality fixed income opportunities.
Technology edge
Sophisticated investment and risk management platform enhances our processes to be more efficient at scale and help clients manage portfolio risks.
Flexibility & choice
Unique client solutions across budgets, vehicles and investment strategies to help clients more efficiently access markets and achieve their objectives.

Positioning for the higher rate environment

With significant changes in the rate environment, fixed income allocations have come under increased scrutiny from institutional investors seeking to capitalize on the higher return potential. We partnered with Illuminas to survey institutions on their shifting objectives, fixed income and where they are seeing the greatest opportunity.
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Fixed income investing solutions

BlackRock offers one of the largest and most diverse array of fixed income solutions, across our fundamental, systematic and credit platforms. Our Aladdin platform, dedicated team and proprietary technology infrastructure enable bespoke client engagements and the delivery of solutions to institutions around the world.

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Fundamental fixed income

BlackRock is a leader in active global fundamental fixed income. With a focus on alpha generation and risk management, the team uses top-down views from lead portfolio managers and bottoms-up expertise from our sector specialists to drive consistent alpha. The breadth and depth of our platform puts us in a strong position to deliver returns regardless of macroeconomic regime, volatility or interest rate environment.


Systematic fixed income

Systematic fixed income strategies employ unique data-driven insights backed by disciplined risk controls that see to deliver differentiated portfolio outcomes to investors.


Differentiated, defensive exposure to various credit benchmarks in both Investment Grade and High Yield
Targeted exposures to broad and persistent drivers of return, to help improve portfolio outcomes, enhance diversification and reduce volatility
Multi sector
Alpha-seeking strategies that use a consistent, repeatable process to validate fundamental insights with quantitative research
Liquid Alternatives
Employ our best ideas using multiple, independent and risk controlled alpha models, seeking attractive risk-adjusted returns with low correlations to broad asset classes
Hedge funds
Uncover alpha using relative value, directional and security selection strategies, across fixed income markets, with return profiles independent of traditional market betas

Credit alternatives

We bring our global investment expertise and established history across public and private markets to construct holistic credit portfolios for our clients. Clients benefit from our powerful sourcing network and resources in risk management that enable us to access credit investment solutions across the spectrum of risk, liquidity and geography.


Leveraged Finance
Our leveraged finance capabilities, which span global high yield bonds and bank loans, use a flexible approach to seek top-down and idiosyncratic opportunities across sectors.
Structured Credit
Our CLO franchise offers our clients securitized access to the US and European Loan markets, both in our proprietary structures and through third-party tranche investing.
Direct Lending
Our direct lending strategy seeks to be a differentiated way to achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns through exposure to private loans in middle market lending.
Opportunistic Credit
Our opportunistic strategy seeks to provide capital solutions with illiquidity premiums and is designed to capture risk-adjusted opportunities in all market environments.
Multi-Credit Solutions
Our multi-credit solutions offer clients flexible access to a single entry point of global solutions across the credit universe of public, public-private blended strategies.

Liability-driven investing (LDI)

Our LDI platform provides defined benefit plan sponsors with the power and flexibility of one of the most comprehensive fixed income businesses in the world, combined with proprietary asset-liability focused technology.


LDI investors require both diversifying credit investments and capital-efficient rates strategies.
Technology and innovation
LDI investors can benefit from both a direct license to our risk management technology and the ability to engage our LDI team, tools and reporting.
Custom liability expertise
As your plan’s LDI strategy evolves over time, our services keep up with your changing needs.

Index fixed income

For over 50 years, our fixed income index platform has provided clients with beta exposure across a broad range of sectors and credit qualities. Institutional clients employ index investing strategies to help achieve a variety of goals including reducing portfolio volatility, creating liquidity sleeves and reducing plan investment costs.

Fixed income index exposure is available to institutional investors through separate accounts, pooled funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).


Investment performance is the number one focus for our portfolio managers as measured by tracking to the client's desired market exposure.
By leveraging BlackRock's size and scale, we aim to deliver the best value in index investing for our clients.
Breadth of offerings
Over the last 40 years we have developed a wide array of index strategies across sectors, credit qualities and geographic regions to meet client needs.
Leader in index innovation
We partner with clients to deliver customized beta exposures and invest in technology, such as Aladdin, to continually enhance and improve our index replication process.

Fixed income ETFs

The global bond ETF industry is growing faster than expected. While it took 17 years to reach $1 trillion, we believe the global bond ETF industry is poised to eclipse $5 trillion by the end of 2030.

A key driver of this growth has been the adoption of fixed income ETFs by institutional investors. Fixed income ETFs are a form of investment technology and have brought transparency, access, liquidity, and efficiency to hundreds of institutions.


Managing liquidity
Whether used as a permanent liquidity sleeve or a temporary way to access markets, fixed income ETFs can bring liquidity and low trading costs.
Enhancing cash
Institutions can incrementally increase yield by stepping out of cash across a spectrum of short duration offerings and respective risk levels.
Adjusting tactical and strategic allocations
Immediate, low-cost strategic exposure to sectors where active management may be insufficient or unnecessary.
Finding an alternative to derivatives
Can be traded alongside, instead of, or relative to fixed income derivatives such as CDX, futures and swaps.
Investing in non-core assets
ETFs can provide both access and expertise to areas of the fixed income market that institutions may not specialize in (e.g. emerging debt, bank loans, CLOs, convertibles).
Sourcing additional yield
ETFs can offer the ability to enhance yield through security lending, both within the ETF portfolio, and by the institution lending out their ETF shares.

Discuss fixed income opportunities in today’s market

Learn more about how BlackRock’s fixed income strategies could help you achieve your portfolio goals.
Education cap

I’m up at 3:45 every morning. I want to know where all the markets are. I work out for an hour then the day really gets going.

I’m Rick Rieder, Chief Investment Officer of Global Fixed Income at BlackRock.

So my job is investing money for clients trying to generate returns using fixed income assets within portfolios. From being in this business for 35 years, you learn you got to be thoughtful, you got to innovate, you got to be different, and then apply that to the experience you have and the research that you’re doing.

Education for me is literally the foundation of everything. I’m chairman of the board of North Star Academy. It’s over 14 charter schools, serving 6,000 kids in the city of Newark. We started an internship program to bring high school kids in to help them with not just understanding markets, the economy, finance, but also understanding how you interface in business. We’re helping to change the future of thousands of underserved kids.

It gives you a real boost to see the difference you can make.

There’s a lot to do in a day, but when you start to see what you can get done, I think it’s safe to say that I won’t look back and wish I had slept more.

Meet Rick Rieder: Morningstar’s 2023 Outstanding Portfolio Manager

Rick Rieder, Chief Investment Officer of Global Fixed Income, has been awarded the 2023 Morningstar Award for Investing Excellence, Outstanding Portfolio Manager. Rick Rieder’s consistent approach to managing strategies like Unconstrained (SIO) and Multi-sector Core and Core Plus have helped deliver long-term success for clients.

BlackRock's fixed income leadership team

Rich Kushel
Senior Managing Director, Head of the Portfolio Management Group (PMG)
Rick Rieder
Senior Managing Director, CIO of Global Fixed Income, Head of Fundamental Fixed Income, Head of Global Allocation Investment Team
James Keenan
Managing Director, Head and CIO of Private Credit, Chairman and Interim CEO of BlackRock Capital Investment Corporation
Tom Parker, CFA
CIO of Systematic Fixed Income
Alex Claringbull, CFA
Managing Director, Global Head of Indexed Fixed Income & LDI within the Portfolio Management Group (PMG)

Our team can help you reassess your fixed income portfolio

Learn more about BlackRock’s fixed income strategies from our investment professionals.
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