This week, we speak with Edwin Conway, the global head of BlackRock Alternative Investors (BAI). BAI, one of the fastest-growing parts of the investment giant BlackRock – which is itself the world’s largest asset manager, with $9.46 trillion in assets under management. Conway chairs the BAI Executive Committee and oversees the strategic direction of BlackRock’s Alternatives platform, which manages more than $300 billion and has more than 1,000 employees.
We discuss how the firm, best known for passive investments, ETFs, and indices, has been in alternatives for 30 years. The firm’s goal is to pair its deep expertise in Beta with its longstanding positions in Alpha. Over the past 5 years, Conway has expanded Blackrock’s footprint in the space across five separate investment areas: Real Estate, Infrastructure, Hedge Funds, Private Equity, and Credit.
Conway believes that the typical institutional investor is rebalancing its portfolio of stocks and bonds, ramping up alternatives towards 20% of the overall portfolio. The 60/40 is becoming 50/30/20. Alternatives are diversifying assets, creating better yield in the current low rate environment. Blackrock expects this to attract trillions in new capital over the next decade.
A transcript of our conversation is available here Monday.
You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with University of Michigan social psychology professor Richard Nisbett. He is Co-director of the Culture and Cognition program at Michigan, focusing on reasoning and basic cognitive processes. he is the author of numerous books, the most recent of which is “Thinking: A memoir.” Malcolm Gladwell has called him “The most influential thinker in my life.”