|Headquarters||Headquartered in New York. Serves clients in 70 cities across 30 countries|
|Key People||Laurence D. Fink, Chief Executive|
|Products||Risk management and trade processing|
BlackRock Inc. is the world's largest asset management company. As of June 2013, BlackRock's assets under management total $3.86 trillion across equity, fixed income, cash management, alternative investment and real estate strategies. The company is the biggest provider of exchange-traded funds in the U.S. 
A publicly held corporation since 1999, BlackRock is independent in ownership and governance, with no single majority stockholder and a majority of independent directors. After Bank of America Merrill Lynch divested its majority stake in 2011, the firm's shares have been widely held, with PNC Financial Services Group holding an interest of about 29 percent.
BlackRock was founded in 1988 by former mortgage-bond trader Laurence Fink as the Financial Management Group within the private equity firm Blackstone Group. The company changed its name to BlackRock in 1992. 
The company merged with PNC Financial Services Group in 1995. In 2000, BlackRock began offering risk management and trade processing tools to external clients under the BlackRock Solutions brand. The tools were designed to provide portfolio transparency and increased efficiency.
In 2005, the company acquired State Street Research and Management
In June 2009, the company agreed to acquire Barclays Global Investors, including exchange-traded funds platform iShares, from parent company Barclays Plc for $13.5 billion. The companies combined to create an asset management firm operating under the name BlackRock Global Investors with combined assets under management of over $2.7 trillion, according to BlackRock. Barclays retained a 19.9 percent stake in the combined company.
In May 2011, BofA Merrill Lynch divested the last of its 49 percent stake in BlackRock by selling 13.6 million shares back to the company.
In April of 2012, Blackrock announced it would launch a trading platform in 2012 that would let the world's largest money manager and its peers bypass Wall Street and trade bonds directly with one another.
In January 2014, BlackRock said it would end its practice of surveying Wall Street analysts for clues about their views on companies before those opinions are publicly issued. The company reached that decision as part of a settlement with Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general. BlackRock also agreed to pay $400,000 to cover the costs of the investigation into the practice.
On May 14, 2014, BlackRock announced a partnership with Tradeweb focused on boosting trading, liquidity and risk management in the interest rate and derivatives markets for institutional investors. The alliance will allow users of BlackRock’s Aladdin risk management system to access a range of interest rate markets, including US Treasury bonds, European, Japanese and Australian government bonds, US mortgage and agency debt, as well as interest rate swaps.
In August of 2014 the European Central Bank appointed BlackRock to advise on a potential bond-buying scheme. The company's advisory arm, BlackRock Solutions, is to help the ECB design a program to buy asset-backed securities as part of a plan to ease credit conditions in the eurozone. BlackRock Solutions was appointed by the Greek central bank earlier in 2014 to examine its four big banks’ balance sheets; it also worked with the Central Bank of Ireland during the eurozone debt crisis.
Products and Services
An overview of the company can be seen in this 3-minute video:
- Laurence D. Fink, Chairman and CEO 
- Robert S. Kapito, President
- Charles S. Hallac, Co-President
- Mark McCombe, Chairman of Asia Pacific
- James J. Charrington, Chairman of Europe, Middle East & Africa
- BlackRock to Cut iShares ETF Fees. Bloomberg.
- Bank of America Will Sell BlackRock Stake Back to Company for $2.5 Billion. Bloomberg.
- BlackRock to Buy Barclays Fund Unit for $13.5 Billion. Bloomberg.
- BlackRock To Acquire Barclays Global Investors. Securities Industry News.
- BlackRock's Street Shortcut. WSJ.com.
- BlackRock Agrees to End Wall Street Analysis Previews. The New York Times.
- BlackRock signals bond trading shakeup. The Financial Times.
- ECB signs up BlackRock to advise on bond buying. The Financial Times.
- BlackRock to Acquire Stake in Barclays Unit. The New York Times.