Companies also collaborate on sustainability initiatives
New York and Redmond, Wash. – Tuesday, April 7, 2020 – BlackRock and Microsoft Corp. have formed a strategic partnership to host BlackRock’s Aladdin infrastructure on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, bringing enhanced capabilities to BlackRock and its Aladdin clients, which include many of the world’s most sophisticated institutional investors and wealth managers.
By adopting Microsoft Azure, BlackRock will both accelerate innovation on Aladdin through greater computing scale and unlock new capabilities to enhance the client experience. BlackRock will also leverage Microsoft Azure’s network of global data centers and capabilities to meet the localized needs of Aladdin clients, all while maintaining Aladdin’s highest standards for resiliency and security.
“As both a user and a provider of Aladdin, this decision reflects BlackRock’s ongoing commitment to continuous innovation and scalable operating solutions,” said Rob Goldstein, Chief Operating Officer of BlackRock. “Aladdin infrastructure deployed on Microsoft Azure’s cloud platform will provide BlackRock with enhanced capabilities to deliver the best outcomes for our Aladdin clients.”
“By bringing Aladdin to the cloud, Microsoft will support BlackRock in further enhancing its client experience while also enabling continuous innovation in the financial services industry,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business. “Together, we will empower an ecosystem of financial services customers running their most critical workloads in the cloud.”
As the financial services industry looks to navigate ever-changing markets, institutions need integrated and scalable platforms to adapt to the growing complexity of managing data, risk management and advanced analytics to deliver innovative solutions to clients. To help support this trend, over time, the Microsoft Azure platform will enable BlackRock to accelerate innovation and collaboration between Aladdin and providers across the financial services ecosystem.
Firms to Collaborate on Sustainable Finance
In line with both firms’ commitment to sustainability, BlackRock and Microsoft will also work together on initiatives that leverage technology to improve and expand sustainability data and analytics. The lack of standardized, high-quality data remains a significant hurdle in understanding the impact of sustainability-related risk on investment portfolios and company performance. Big data, machine learning and AI can all play a critical role in improving access to and the impact and quality of sustainability data.
The two firms will invite collaboration – whether from academics, startups, non-profits or others – on sustainability-related data, analytics and technology. As a first step, the firms will collaborate on challenge grants for organizations that use data and technology to understand and drive sustainability. The firms will also provide technical expertise, leveraging Microsoft’s scale in computing, big data and AI, and BlackRock’s leading investment and portfolio management solutions to support a better understanding of corporate sustainability behavior.
Aladdin is BlackRock’s end-to-end investment management and operations platform used by institutional investors including asset managers, pension funds, insurers and corporate treasurers. It combines sophisticated risk analytics with comprehensive portfolio management, trading and operations tools on a single, unified platform. Also customized for wealth managers, Aladdin provides a common language across the investment lifecycle and enables a culture of risk transparency among users.