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? See our latest insights.

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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?

Real assets are investments that provide direct ownership of nonfinancial assets, such as infrastructure traditionally controlled by the public sector or real estate. Real assets can be accessed via private markets or listed equity markets.

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 $329B 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: ~8,000 deals reviewed annually with a ~5% deployment rate.3
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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 rest 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 40,000 properties tracked daily by eFront.4
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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.

1BlackRock as of 31 December 2021. 2Preqin. 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. 32021 year-end annualised figure. 4BlackRock, 31 December 2021.


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 Contact us

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 Contact us

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.

Learn about hedge funds Contact us

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 Contact us

Multi-alternative portfolio management solutions

The Alternative Solutions Group (ASG) is BlackRock’s multi-alternative portfolio management team. We construct outcome-oriented private market portfolios on behalf of our clients, leveraging both top-down and bottom-up capabilities. ASG brings active portfolio management to private markets, combining quantitative and fundamental approaches to manage risk and assess relative value.

Learn about  Alternatives Solutions Group Contact us

Our alternatives experts
The BlackRock Alternative Investors (BAI) team of 990+ 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.
Image of Edwin N. Conway, Head of BlackRock Alternative Investors and Jim Barry, Chief Investment Officer, BlackRock Alternative Investors

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