Everything You Need To Know about BlackRock

Given that BlackRock manages nearly $10 trillion in assets under management, on $22 billion of revenue, and is the largest shareholder for literally every global firm, there seems to be far less conversation about the firm on this site -- so much to the point that I genuinely don't know what people exactly do there on the job.

What type of job opportunities exist at BlackRock? Is most of their strategy passive/index investing or are they well-regarded for active management?

If passive, what type of job would that even entail for these thousands of workers? Are they just salespeople?

Most importantly, what is the compensation ceiling for the more competitive roles at BlackRock? What about work/life balance?

Any insight would be appreciated. I hope this thread can literally be a giant journal with everything you need to know about it from an employee's perspective.

Comments (34)

Most Helpful
  • Intern in AM - Equities
Mar 18, 2022 - 10:20am

Incoming SA and will try to answer this to the best of my ability.

Tons of opportunities are available through BlackRock the question is which side you want to be on. The Aladdin program has created hundreds if not thousands of new jobs that are more technology focused bringing in software engineers, account execs, risk, managers etc.

The the more traditional end BLK has both active and passive funds that have both small and large teams. In terms of passive the EII group (ETF, Index and Investing) is probably the largest. They work on passive funds either as researchers, client relationship managers or portfolio managers. This is split across regions or types of funds depending on your location or team. On the active side this is much smaller at the moment. There are only 4 active funds out of Blackrock so those teams are more lean but specialized. Ten trillion is a lot to manage and there is a strong need for smart candidates/employees to keep the gears turning. I get what your saying about not needing that many people for passive but from what I see BlackRock is a machine that constantly needs input from people instead of machines or AI algos.

In terms of compensation I think BlackRock is pretty up there. There clearly aren't going to compete with IB but my SA salary is 6 figures plus (pro-rated). Can't speak to seniors but BLK definitely competes on the street for juniors.

Mar 25, 2022 - 1:17pm
jackwestjr, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah, OP may mean four groups/divisions. They have a hell of a lot more than four active funds. 

  • Intern in AM - Equities
Mar 24, 2022 - 7:58am

Another incoming SA here, my salary is significant lower (I start around 75k usd) in APAC. I'm on the distribution side of alternatives and was wondering which team are you on?

  • Intern in AM - Equities
Mar 25, 2022 - 8:25am

Can't really disclose as I am on a small team but interesting to see how low APAC starting salary is.

  • Incoming Analyst in AM - Equities
Jul 6, 2022 - 3:50pm

OP here. Writing months later now I've been at the firm. Great place, amazing WLB and really nice people. Hope more people will consider working here even if pay may be a bit under market.

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
Apr 5, 2022 - 5:07pm

Was a SA last summer and I'm returning FT in the fall to the New York office. There's nothing really 'passive' about managing index funds. Lots of work goes into balancing the funds, maintaining the secondary market, rebalancing after changes to the underlying indices, and choosing which indices to track in the first place. Although there isn't too much active management at BlackRock, portfolios of passive funds are built for clients that give them tilts towards certain factors (strategic beta). 

People are A+ and exit opportunities seem great (based off of seeing announcements on LinkedIn), but honestly a lot stick around. Met a lot of people at the VP-Director level that started with the firm, left for banking/HF/trading, and ended up returning a few years later. Sure comp may be a little lower than IB/PE, but hours and work life balance are dramatically better in most groups. Seemed like most people were genuinely passionate about the AM space and seemed excited to work. Genuinely enjoyed my time there this past summer, learned a lot, and am excited to return.  

  • Associate 1 in ER
Apr 5, 2022 - 6:30pm

So for these passive management roles, they are charging expense ratios south of 0.10% typically. What does comp look like for each level?

I can't imagine it's even in the same ballpark as IB/HF comp? Like purely from an economic standpoint it looks like passive would be lower than anything else in finance, assuming you're not a salesperson slinging product, right?

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
Apr 5, 2022 - 11:12pm

When you're managing 10 trillion, 10 bips is huge (average expense ratio is higher than that too). The scale of large AM firms allows them to pay decent salaries. 

I can only speak for my comp because there's a wide spread across groups. Analyst base is 90-100k, with bonus targets around 25k.  Comparable benefits too. Definitely not on pace with IB/HF, but when you consider that the hours often don't exceed 50ish, it becomes a lot more attractive. 

  • Intern in AM - Other
Apr 14, 2022 - 10:33pm

As an analyst in an investing role you can expect to make between 105-125k all in in as a first year while working 40-50 hour weeks. WLB varies by group and team. I make the lower end of the TC but also work lower end of the hours with plenty of PTO. My manager and skip level manager even encouraged me to take more PTOs sometimes. I would say definitely go there for the lifestyle but not for the compensation. If you are someone who's into the grind and wants to maximize their paycheck then BLK might not be for you. Pay progression at associate/VP levels also severely lags behind banking.

  • Research Analyst in AM - Other
Jul 10, 2022 - 2:04pm

The only thing I never understand is why AM people compare themselves to banking soo often? I honestly don't really compare my comp to ibankers, I just find it quite foolish because it's a completely different skillset and as you progress it becomes even more specialised. I'm in FI so really only compare my comp to maybe ER and PC but that's about it, it really makes no sense comparing to PE or IB and feeling like you're underpaid but many do it and it genuinely baffles me. 

  • Research Associate in AM - Equities
Jul 10, 2022 - 9:04pm

Probably because at some point in their lives they were in the prospect pool for banking, had banking vs. AM offers, or did a 2 year ib -> pe/hf -> bschool -> LO AM. As a fresh out of undergrad hire where 99% of the industry idolizes banking it would be imprudent not to at least have considered it

Apr 15, 2022 - 12:28am
SAK47, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Never worked at Blackrock but worked at an asset manager at a bank before moving to a smaller traditional asset manager in the fixed income side. However I know of senior folks at BLK. The senior folks are definitely underpaid among the bellwethers (Fido, Vanguard, PIMCO on the fixed income side) and even among the tier 2 players such as T.Rowe. Again, it does vary team by team so I'm speaking in generalizations. It's a great firm to work at, WLB is generally pretty good, and the people are generally great but pay wise generally speaking, it definitely lags among other asset managers. Bankers make leagues more than equivalent roles at asset manager but again, it's a different job with a much better work life balance. 

Jul 8, 2022 - 6:26pm
Kazakus, what's your opinion? Comment below:

As an intern at Vanguard can confirm this. Basically just a matter of whether you want to live in New York or Philly more or less 

  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Jul 8, 2022 - 8:18pm

This is highly inaccurate. T Rowe is not tier 2, it's way more prestigious than the passives like Vanguard or BlackRock. And you can make more money than bankers at a more senior levels in AM, particularly at one of the partnerships

Jul 8, 2022 - 8:36pm
SAK47, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey meant no disrespect. I really wasn't talking about prestige. I was talking about strictly from an AUM perspective. Think T Rowe is somewhere in the $1.5T range while Fido ($4.5T) and Vanguard ($7T) are much larger. I may be off with those numbers on an exact basis but T Rowe definitely smaller. And PIMCO of course is the premier fixed income shop. And relative to pay, I would venture to say on average MDs in banking make more than your run of the mill PM but there are definitely outliers with some rockstar PMs. Also on the comp side I'm talking about primarily fixed income because that's my background so maybe someone can chime in on the equity side. 

Jul 9, 2022 - 6:45pm
PensionGone, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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