During the last two major crises, in 2008 and 2020, the average person was worried about their retirement or the small business they had taken their life to build up into a viable enterprise. While they were in the fog of war at this time, largely unaware of the high-level moves being made, the financial services company BlackRock took this opportunity to ingratiate itself with the United States government. Right underneath the world’s nose the reins of control changed hands with what amounts to a financial coup that would leave BlackRock with at least $10 trillion dollars worth of assets under management. How did this happen to a company that until recently was little known to the average person? To answer this question we have to go back 34 years.
BlackRock was founded in 1988 by Larry Fink and partners after Fink lost $100M at First Boston. Blackstone’s Pete Peterson and Stephen Schwarzman provided a $5M line of credit for 50% of the business, then called Blackstone Financial Management. In 1994, BlackRock separated from Blackstone, and by 1999, with $165B AUM, it went public on the NYSE at $14/share. Acquisitions & growth followed, including a merger with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers in 2006.
Read more: The Long Shadow of BlackRock