This week’s issue of Bloomberg Businessweek has printed two interesting stories, which we thought are worth a click. The first is a feature report on BlackRock’s (BLK) Larry Fink. Fink, who currently runs BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset management firm, manages more money than Germany has GDP ; but very few people beyond Wall Street are familiar with him and understand his influence. Reporter Sheelah Kolhatkar takes a closer look at the aspirations of BlackRock and the man who runs it all.
The second story is features the second-largest private equity firm, the Carlyle Group, and it’s comeback. Reporter Cristina Alesci reports that Carlyle is making more investments and branching into new areas as it considers going public.
Below is a quick summary of each article : Courtesy of Bloomberg Businessweek
THE COLOSSUS ON WALL STREET
By Sheelah Kolhatkar
As chairman and chief executive officer of BlackRock, Larry Fink controls more money than Germany has GDP. BlackRock is the world’s biggest asset management firm, a $3.45 trillion powerhouse that’s the largest counterparty on Wall Street, on track to pay investment banks $1 billion in fees this year. It manages $1.4 trillion for state pension funds in New York, New Jersey, and California, among others, invests $240 billion for central banks and sovereign wealth funds such as the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, and in the U.S. stock and bond markets, it’s responsible for a massive amount of trading volume each day. BlackRock serves at the U.S. Treasury Dept.’s go-to source for private sector financial expertise and managed at least $150 billion in toxic assets on behalf of U.S. taxpayers after the 2008 bailouts of American International Group and Bear Stearns. While running the company is a team effort, Fink, 58, is BlackRock’s brain and BlackRock, increasingly, is Wall Street’s. In light of all of this, it’s surprising how few people beyond Wall Street are familiar with Larry Fink and BlackRock.
AFTER A TWO-YEAR SLUMP, CARLYLE MOUNTS A COMEBACK
By Cristina Alesci
In 2008 and 2009, Carlyle Group, the second-largest private equity firm after Blackstone Group, cut workers, liquidated a hedge fund, was forced to close a publicly traded debt fund, and saw four of the companies it owned file for bankruptcy. “I predicted the party would end badly, but it was even uglier than I thought,” says William E. Conway Jr., who co-founded the firm in 1987 with David M. Rubenstein and Daniel A. D’Aniello. Now Carlyle is on the move again—doing deals, hiring bankers to launch new ventures, and debating whether to dust off plans to sell shares to the public. Conway, 61, says he decided at the start of the year to ramp up buyouts after a two-year lull. “I became more bullish on the economy than many others, based on data from portfolio companies that showed improvement,” he says, adding that the Federal Reserve’s low-interest-rate policy aided dealmaking by reducing borrowing costs.
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