Juniors and seniors confirmed this when they visited BlackRock’s offices on East 52nd Street last month. Three executive presentations, a Q-and-A with young analysts and a networking session left many club members convinced of the company’s value.
“BlackRock has a lot to offer for both investors and employees, and students looking to pursue a career in alternatives should consider the firm to be a major option,” said John Crelli (GSB ’14).
Students’ eyes were opened to specific career paths when they heard from first- and second-year BlackRock analysts. These relatively new employees had graduated from universities all over the United States and had majored in many different subjects, some even outside of business.
“Their stories of how they ended up at BlackRock stressed the importance of networking,” John recalled. “Most of the analysts had previous internships there and then started off full-time in a completely different group. They networked within the firm and, as a result, received employment offers.”
BlackRock also connected the Fordham students with three high-level staff members who offered lecture-style presentations. John’s account of these is as follows:
- Nugi Jakobishvilli, managing director of the BAI executive team, gave an overview of the business, which has $4 trillion in assets under management and invests $100 billion in alternatives, spanning all alternative investment classes but specializing in hedge funds, private equity and real estate.
- Diana Myint, director of BlackRock Alternative Advisors, spoke about BlackRock’s hedge fund solutions, which focus on a rigorously screened group of smaller, emerging managers. Due to BlackRock’s size, she said, the firm is able to negotiate fees that are sometimes even lower than what investors would pay if they were to invest directly in a fund — ameliorating an often-voiced criticism of hedge fund investing.
- Aaron Kless, managing director of the global private equity group, talked about his group’s approach to buy a company, institute some change and then sell the company for a higher price. He summarized buyout strategies including “buy-and-build,” spinoffs and expansion capital.
“Each speaker gave a comprehensive explanation of alternative investments and what an asset-management firm like BlackRock offers to investors,” John said. “From a senior’s perspective, the BlackRock event was a great experience.”