Factor Strategies

What is Factor Investing?


Factors are broad, persistent drivers of return that historically have earned long run returns within and across asset classes. Factor-based investing provides an alternative view from traditional asset-class based portfolio analysis of what is really driving growth and risk, and may help provide greater clarity as to hidden opportunities — or risks — in a given investment mix. BlackRock manages over $154 billion* in factor-based strategies in enhanced factor strategies and smart beta. Under the leadership of renowned academic and factor expert Andrew Ang, we continue to innovate new strategies to approach the investment challenges of our clients.


  • Built on economic foundation: BlackRock's factor-based strategies focus on harvesting rewarded factors that endure as a result of a risk premium, structural impediment or behavioral anomaly. We pursue factors that are economically intuitive, have empirical evidence of positive returns, provide low correlation to other factors, and can be captured and implemented in a transparent and repeatable manner.
  • Pioneer in factor-based investing: BlackRock leverages decades of expertise in research and implementation of factor-based investing, including 30+ years of experience in systematic investing and 40+ years of managing passive strategies*.
  • Consultative approach: Andrew Ang leads BlackRock’s Factor-Based Strategies team in creating the next generation of client solutions. The team consults closely with clients to help incorporate factor based solutions into existing investment frameworks as well as partner on bespoke factor solutions targeting unique needs.
  • Continuous focus on innovation: BlackRock has been at the forefront of the next generation of factor products, technology, and capabilities, creating specialised, innovative investments in every asset class.

Types of Strategies

BlackRock's Factor-Based Strategies platform seeks to provide comprehensive exposure across asset classes and vehicle offerings.

Types of Strategies

For more information on BlackRock’s factor-based investment strategies:

  • Smart Beta: A transparent and rules-based style of investing that seeks to improve returns, reduce risks, and enhance diversification by providing exposure to systematic investment factors.


Enhanced strategies:

  • Market Advantage: A risk parity strategy designed to balance sources of return more optimally than traditional asset allocation portfolios.
  • Style Advantage: A multi-asset, long/short style factor strategy designed to provide liquid and diversified absolute returns, with low correlation to major markets.

*as of September 30, 2016


Andrew Ang, PhD
Managing Director, Head of Factor Investing Strategies and leads BlackRock’s Factor-Based Strategies Group
Sara Shores, CFA
Global Head of Investment Strategy for Risk Factor Strategies
Ked Hogan, PhD
Managing Director, Head of Investments for BlackRock's Factor-Based Strategies Group
Bob Bass
Managing Director, focuses on the tools and analytics necessary to support a factor-based investment process