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BlackRock plans $10-bn fund for private equity investments

08 February, 2018

BlackRock Inc plans to raise about $10 billion as part of a new business that would take direct stakes in companies, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The move marks a new strategy for the company that manages more than $6 trillion for investors through publicly offered mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, many of which own broad swaths of the market.

A multibillion-dollar fund could put the world’s largest asset manager in more direct competition to own promising private companies with the likes of Berkshire Hathaway Inc’s Warren Buffett and private-equity firms, including Blackstone Group LP, from which it was initially spun out.

The approach would likely be to take minority stakes in companies and hold them for a relatively long period of time, the person said.

BlackRock was not immediately available for comment. The company’s plan to raise about $10 billion was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink has long pushed corporate executives to adjust their behavior to focus on generating long-term value for shareholders, rather than simply meeting short-term profit targets.

The person said the new effort is being chaired by Mark Wiseman, a top executive who the company hired in 2016 from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Wiseman’s first big move was to spearhead an effort to improve BlackRock’s ability to pick winning stocks in part by using technology to aid the process.

Day-to-day management of the new effort is being led by André Bourbonnais, the former chief executive officer of Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board, the person said.

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BlackRock plans $10-bn fund for private equity investments

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