Two of BlackRock’s Aladdin Competitors Team Up

MSCI’s risk analytics will now be accessible through State Street-owned Charles River’s portfolio management platform.

(Scott Eisen/Bloomberg)

(Scott Eisen/Bloomberg)

Charles River Development, State Street’s portfolio management software business, is working with another provider — and fellow competitor to BlackRock’s Aladdin system — to beef up its risk analytics.

Charles River announced Friday that it has partnered with MSCI to integrate MSCI’s portfolio and risk analytics into its investment management system. MSCI Analytics clients, in turn, will be able to use Charles River’s platform for portfolio and data modeling.

“Our partnership with MSCI provides beneficial capabilities for our mutual clients,” Charles River CEO John Plansky said in a statement. “Adding new and differentiated analytical capabilities to the Charles River platform will help clients adapt to changing market conditions, investor preferences, and regulatory mandates.”

The partnership is the latest effort by Charles River and parent company State Street to build what they have branded as the industry’s “first-ever global, front-to-back, client servicing platform from a single provider.” The software provider formed a similar partnership earlier this year with Axioma, another portfolio and risk analytics provider.

[II Deep Dive: State Street Ramps Up Competition With BlackRock’s Aladdin]

“The ability to seamlessly access MSCI’s entire analytics suite directly from the Charles River platform streamlines the development and deployment of new investment vehicles and strategies across asset classes,” Jorge Mina, head of analytics at MSCI, said in a statement. “It will also simplify workflows and improve communication, operational efficiency, and collaboration between the front and middle offices across the entire investment process.”


Both MSCI and Axioma primarily compete with Aladdin Risk, risk analytics that BlackRock offers as a standalone product as well as through the larger Aladdin operating system. Charles River, meanwhile, competes with BlackRock in offering portfolio management software that supports front-office functions like risk management and performance attribution.

State Street’s acquisition of Charles River last year was viewed by industry observers as an attempt to compete with BlackRock’s widely used Aladdin platform. The Charles River system is currently used to manage over $25 trillion in assets across institutional investors, wealth managers, and hedge funds across 30 countries, according to Friday’s announcement.

“Establishing relationships with leading analytics providers, such as MSCI, offers investment managers the greatest choice of portfolio, risk, and attribution capabilities on a single platform,” Plansky said.