An interview and Q&A with Co-Founder and CEO of Blackrock, Laurence Fink, and founder of private equity firm Ares Management, Antony Ressler. In this interview, both gentlemen discuss how they started out in finance and became successful. They also talk about political risk, infrastructure and market cycle.
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Billionaire Antony Ressler & Laurence Fink: Becoming Successful In Finance
Ares I think we’d call or referred to as an alternative asset manager. Our job of course is to manage money on behalf of individuals and institutions and of course our job above all is to try to invest effectively over the long term for our investor base whomever that might be in whichever assets they might be interested in. And in our particular company it’s broken really between three. Semi autonomous pools of capital one focusing on credit both liquid and illiquid one focusing on private equity and one focusing on real estate assets and our job is to invest successfully over the long term and continue to perform and grow. What’s with the Greek god of war. Well as I have to acknowledge we started I guess I started in the investment business post Drexel with a firm called Apollo Management and that we started in June of 1990 which was the god of Heeley. And we started as really the credit arm of Apollo in 1997. And we needed a separate brand. We were trying to use the mythology narrative and we wanted to start with an A because we like when our name is on the left versus the right.
And I know it all. And lo and behold we found areas of course when you do your homework and you find out it’s the God of War and not a terribly attractive God but well we’ll move on to other important things and hasn’t hurt us that much so often there’s longevity I can help you spin it if you will. Yes and we’ve been doing that for 20 years and I that you have. All right Larry what about Black Rock.
It’s pretty similar to how Tony described dairies were an investment and resettlement organization or we manage large pools of money. And our job is to make people’s financial futures better. None of the money is ours. It’s all individual money and institutional money. We have a huge responsibility. We have to earn that responsibility every day and because of our scale we manage asset classes across the whole spectrum. And you know we do have. Large commitments from large entities worldwide that the trust in us. So our job is to produce the positive returns that they’re looking for every day. Our job is to give them insight having the resources that we have. We have unique information that allows us to give a differentiated service. But you know the the baseline is very similar with Tonis that our job is to produce investment returns for people to have a better financial future in their life.
So the six point three trillion number is mind boggling as Judy said. I remember when you passed a trillion I thought it was a lot. You get asked this a lot Larry but is it too big and you say it’s not your money it’s everyone else’s money. But is there a risk inherent in being that large.
Well we manage to know hundreds and hundreds of different indexes or liabilities. I answer the question two ways yes we are to a large if we are not doing the job that clients are expecting from us. We’re too large if we’re not producing the returns or we’re not meeting the expectations of our clients. And I would say in the last few years our growth is actually accelerating. We’re winning more assets because we have been providing the returns that our clients are looking for and the insights. But a big on a macro basis we actually shrunk. Because of the global capital markets are growing actually faster than BlackRock. And as long as the global capital markets are growing.
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