By Rob Daly

BlackRock Tests Blockchain for Custody

Global asset manager BlackRock is in the midst of testing a blockchain-based platform for its custody relationships, said Laurence Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock during the firm’s third-quarter earnings call.

Dubbed Aladdin Provider, the offering uses a private blockchain to create more seamless processing between BlackRock and its custodians.

“It should reduce many many errors,” he said. “Let us not assume that there will no longer be errors. We do have some.”

Once testing proves successful, Fink plans to expand the platform beyond BlackRock so that clients can utilize the platform.

In the meantime, BlackRock has seen higher demand for its Aladdin Risk for Wealth Management, which it launched two years ago. There are five clients currently live on the platform, and the asset manager sees demand from Asia, Europe, and North America, according to Fink.

Digital offerings like ARWM and digital partnerships, such as , FutureAdvisor,  iRetire, and Scalable Capital, are critical for BlackRock’s future growth, he said.

Fink estimated that the offerings reach tens of thousands of wealth managers who manage assets on behalf of millions of end investors.

“As our digital offerings enable financial advisors to have a more productive conversation with their clients, they are driving more investment into our iShares and other BlackRock investment strategies, he noted. “It is critical that we continue to invest in these opportunities while being mindful of the impact on our bottom line.”

BlackRock also has rolled out an ambitious plan it calls “Tech2020,” which looks to extend the more than 2,000 technologists across the firm, Rob Goldstein, COO of BlackRock, told Business Insider earlier this week.

“And we’re really excited about the opportunity to take a company like BlackRock, which is already, I’d say, at the forefront of technology in its industry, and, if anything, keep expanding that,” he added.

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