BlackRock (A): Selling the Systems?
As the case opens in 1999, several key leaders at BlackRock, Inc.- then a relatively small asset management firm -- are trying to convince CEO Larry Fink and others that the firm should begin to offer Aladdin -- its proprietary analytics and trading platform -- to other asset managers. While some members of the senior team saw "selling our systems" as an opportunity, others likened it to "selling weapons to the enemy" or "giving away the crown jewels." What should Fink do? The case provides an overview of the asset management industry, the beginnings of BlackRock, and details around the Aladdin platform.