BlackRock isn’t replacing human stock-pickers with robots, after all.
CEO Larry Fink told CNBC Thursday that despite reports to the contrary, the world’s biggest money manager will not replace human analysts with high-powered computers as it overhauls its actively managed equities business. As it is, Fink said, computer algorithms don’t outperform humans when it comes to picking stock winners, so the company will reorganize in other ways.
BlackRock, which has more than $5 trillion in assets under its control, including a $1 trillion ETF business, will instead use high-powered computers to keep up with all the streams of information coming in these days, but the final decision on buying or selling will be kept in the hands of an actual person.
Last Tuesday, the company announced it would cut more than 40 jobs in favor of automated analysis, but Fink now says all employees in BlackRock’s equity division will still be with the firm a year from now, albeit in slightly differing roles that focus more on data science and analysis.
Still, even with Fink’s commitment to retaining human insight over computing power, the industry’s shift toward automation is already underway and seemingly inevitable. By 2025, financial institutions will shed 10% of its workforce in favor of computers, which comes out to 230,000 jobs, according to financial services consultancy Optimas.