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The 2015 Pension 40: Laurence Fink

No. 8 Laurence Fink, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer / BlackRock

Laurence Fink
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer /
Last year: 8

As one of the first mortgage-backed-securities traders on Wall Street, Laurence Fink has long been good with numbers. But one number the chairman and CEO of asset management giant BlackRock is not good with these days is the $136,200 in retirement savings that the typical 55- to 65-year-old American has socked away — which equates to just $9,150 in postretirement annual income for someone who stops working at 65 — according to a survey last summer by his New York–based firm. “The lack of retirement savings is a growing problem for this country,” says Fink, 63, who co-founded BlackRock in 1988, when 401(k) plans were dwarfed in size by traditional defined benefit pension plans. Today defined contribution plans dominate the retirement landscape, shifting the investment decision making from companies to individuals, compounding the problem, Fink says. BlackRock’s research has found that many Americans have a deep fear of investing and have parked 65 percent of their wealth in cash. With two thirds of the money it manages in the U.S. tied to retirement, BlackRock has a responsibility to be a leader on these issues, Fink says. “The key is education,” he explains. “We need to make the concept of investing and preparedness for retirement a conversation of today. If we have that conversation and we have an organized path, then there will be less fear.” In November, BlackRock launched iRetire, a software platform that provides financial advisers with sophisticated tools and resources to help clients determine how much they need to retire and what they can do to get there. Fink is also concerned about the gap between the assets and the liabilities of state public pension funds. “The funding gap is going to have a pronounced impact on state spending for infrastructure,” he notes. “It could be a major drag on the U.S. economy.”

The 2015 Pension 40

1. Bruce Rauner
2. John & Laura Arnold
Laura and John Arnold Foundation
3. Chris Christie
New Jersey
4. Randi Weingarten
AmericanFederation of Teachers
5. Phyllis Borzi
U.S. Department
of Labor
6. Kevin de León
7. Alejandro García Padilla
Commonwealth ofPuerto Rico
8. Laurence Fink
9. Rahm Emanuel
10. Sean McGarvey
North AmericanBuilding Trades Unions
11. John Kline
12. J. Mark Iwry
U.S. Treasury
13. Damon Silvers
14. Jeffrey Immelt
Electric Co.
15. Joshua Gotbaum
Brookings Institution
16. Robin Diamonte
United Technologies Corp.
17. Mark Mullet
18. Terry O'Sullivan
Laborers' International Union of North America
19. Raymond Dalio
Bridgewater Associates
20. Ted Wheeler
21. Thomas Nyhan
Central States Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund
22. Karen Ferguson & Karen Friedman
Pensions Rights Center
23. Randy DeFrehn
National Coordinating Committee forMultiemployer Plans
24. Robert O'Keef
Motorola Solutions
25. Caitlin Long
Morgan Stanley
26. Kenneth Feinberg
The Law Offices
of Kenneth R. Feinberg
27. Orrin Hatch
28. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Center for Retirement Initiatives, Georgetown University
29. Ian Lanoff
Groom Law Group
30. Joshua Rauh
Stanford Graduate School of Business
31. Ted Eliopoulos
California Public Employees' Retirement System
32. Edward (Ted) Siedle
Benchmark Financial Services
33. Teresa Ghilarducci
New School for Social Research
34. Denise Nappier
35. W. Thomas Reeder Jr.
Pension BenefitGuaranty Corp.
36. Hank Kim
National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems
37. Paul Singer
Elliott Management Corp.
38. Bailey Childers
National PublicPension Coalition
39. Amy Kessler
Prudential Financial
40. Judy Mares
U.S. Labor Department

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