This is the most powerful man in the world but you’ve probably never heard of him

When one thinks of the most powerful people on the planet, the mind conjures up presidents and the likes of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and other billionaires.

But what about the individuals whose power seemingly far exceeds that of politicians and tech industry titans?

Well, one of the people might be Laurance Fink, 70, the chief executive of the colossal multinational investment company BlackRock, the biggest asset manager in the world.

Fink founded the firm with seven colleagues in 1988, and he is serves as CEO and chairperson. He holds an MBA and a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles.

In January 2022, BlackRock made history as it grew to own $10 trillion (R175 trillion) in assets, and it continues to grow. To put the size of the company into perspective, consider that South Africa’s gross domestic product was $419.02 billion in 2021.

“Our business is more diversified than ever before… Active strategies, including alternatives, contributed over 60% of 2021 organic base fee growth,’’ Fink said of the feat.

Cash funds, commodities funds, stock funds, bond funds, multi-asset funds, and real estate funds are among BlackRock’s holdings.

The company credited Fink for its growth. ‘“Under his leadership, the firm has grown into a global leader in investment and technology solutions.

“BlackRock’s mission is to help our clients build better financial futures and the firm is trusted to manage more money than any other investment company in the world.”

Fink’s net worth, Forbes estimated, was approximately $1bn as of 2023.

The highly successful man values his privacy, so much so that most people outside the finance industry don’t even know he exists.

According to Africa Intelligence, BlackRock has been “quietly building (an) empire” across the continent. ‘’With a 0.17% share of Kenya’s Safaricom, a 1.47% slice of South Africa’s MTN and Vodacom, which enjoys a quasi-monopoly of the African market. BlackRock also holds a 0.09% stake in Dangote Cement, the cement firm owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.’’

With BlackRock’s enormous influence, conspiracy theories have cropped up about its ‘’world dominance“.

IOL Business

Author: editor

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