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BlackRock's tech units generate most significant 2021-growth in Nordic region

DECEMBER SERIES: BlackRock's two divisions, Aladdin and Efront, have provided the most significant growth for the firm, says Head of Nordics Elisabeth Sterner, who concludes AMWatch's December series.

"I believe collaborating with our clients to transition their portfolios to meet sustainability objectives has been one of the most important initiatives in 2021," says Head of Nordics at BlackRock Elisabeth Sterner. | Photo: PR / BlackRock

What has been your team's most important initiative in 2021?

"I believe collaborating with our clients to transition their portfolios to meet sustainability objectives has been one of the most important initiatives in 2021. Whether it be meeting their own net-zero target or adjusting strategies to new regulation such as SFDR.

This transformation is all encompassing as we are working with clients to connect their needs to our sustainability offerings across products, solutions, and technology."

How has your business in the Nordic region developed over the past year?

"The most significant growth has been within technology where the Nordic Aladdin and eFront team has grown significantly, both in terms of business development and client servicing. A large focus within technology is sustainability and to help clients understand risks such as how the physical toll of global warming and the transition to a low-carbon economy impacts risk and returns, across public and private markets.

We have also increased our private markets activities through our local investment teams focusing on real estate and renewable energy projects across the Nordic region during 2021."

Which three themes will be most important for you and your team in 2022, and why?

"A continued focus on sustainability, alternatives and technology, and these three themes will increasingly overlap.

Most Nordic investors – from individual savers to large institutional clients - have sustainability at the front of their minds and therefore we need to continue making sustainable investing more approachable. This includes investments within private markets, which will become more accessible to more investors, and it includes developing our risk management technology, Aladdin, including Aladdin Climate, to meet the urgent need to quantify climate risk in portfolios."

On a personal level, what is your most important professional goal in 2022?

"As Head of the Nordics, my job is to continue to grow BlackRock's local presence in the region both in terms of client engagements and investments in the Nordic economy. More specifically, this means to continue strengthening our team across areas such as relationship management, client servicing, technology and investment professionals."

Do you expect to hire new people for the Nordic team in 2022?
"Yes, I do. We are always looking for new talent to complement our team. In fact, we have a couple of openings in the Nordics at the moment."

How has competition in the Nordic market evolved over the past two years?

"Competition in the Nordic market has intensified for sure. The Nordic countries, all with highly advanced pension systems, pose an increasingly attractive market for asset managers, and we are obviously not the only ones who can see that. The Nordics are also at the forefront of sustainability, and that makes a very good match with BlackRock as we play a key role in advancing sustainable investing.

As the world moves towards a net-zero economy, we are committed to helping investors prepare their portfolios for this massive transition."

BlackRock hires Nordic head of real estate 

Pimco and Fidelity shun net-zero alliance embraced by BlackRock 

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