Larry Fink, the famous American billionaire and co-founder of the largest money management firm in the world, BlackRock, has had an unbelievable career trajectory that helped him amass a tremendous net worth. As of 2024, Larry Fink’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion.

Fink’s life story is nothing short of astounding. He came from a regular middle-class American family, secured a college education, and worked his way up the ranks until he became the CEO of one of the most powerful companies in the world. He is both the CEO and chairman of Blackrock, which has over $10 trillion in assets under management.

Let’s see how he built his wealth and became a billionaire.

Larry Fink’s Net Worth Breakdown:

Most of Larry Fink’s estimated net worth comes from his massive stake in BlackRock as its largest individual shareholder. However, the value of the company fluctuates often and he doesn’t reveal much about his spending and other investments, making it impossible to pinpoint the exact net worth of the financial kingpin.

By doing thorough research and fact-based estimations, we place the net worth of the CEO of BlackRock at over $1.2 billion. This is based on his salaries over the years, his stake and its current value, as well as other assets he has in his portfolio.

Asset or Income Source Contribution to Net Worth
Black Rock shares sale, 2023 $25 million
Black Rocks stake, November 2023 $400 million
Black Rock salary, 2010 $23.6 million
Black Rock salary, 2021 $36 million
Real estate $9+ million
Total Net Worth $1.2 billion

Larry Fink’s Net Worth: Early Life and Family

Laurence Douglas Fink was born to a Jewish family on November 2, 1952, in Van Nuys, California. His father, Frederick, owned a shoe store while his mother, Lila, worked as an English professor. He has two siblings.

After graduating from high school, Larry Fink enrolled at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) to study political science. He was a member of Kappa Beta Phi and earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1974. Following this educational milestone, he received his MBA in real estate at the UCLA Anderson School of Management two years later.

larry fink at ucla

In his youth, Fink wasn’t sure of what his future would look like. He started studying political theory at UCLA, but on a whim, signed up for some classes in real estate in his senior year, and he was hooked. However, after he obtained his MBA at UCLA’s business school, his dream of becoming a property developer faded, and he decided to join the financial industry instead.

Fink has been married to his high school sweetheart Lori Fink (formerly Weider) since 1974 and has three children with her.

Larry Fink Net Worth: From an Investment Banker to a Billionaire CEO

Larry Fink started working straight out of college. It didn’t take him long to be noticed in the financial industry and, in a few short years, he developed the necessary expertise and experience to open the business that changed his life – and his net worth.

Early Career Days

In 1976 when Fink earned his degree, he started working at First Boston, an investment bank based in New York. He managed the firm’s bond department and was one of the bank’s first mortgage-backed securities traders.

Not long after he started working at the company, Fink was promoted to managing director. He was the youngest managing director in the history of First Boston and, at 31, he was the youngest member of its management committee.

He started the Financial Futures and Options Department, was co-head of the Taxable Fixed Income Division, and headed the firms’ Mortgage and Real Estate Products Group. As a director, he managed several financial groups and helped grow the company’s bottom line to $1 billion.

However, at one point, everything came crashing down. Fink said in a speech:

My team and I felt like rock stars. Management loved us. I was on track to become CEO of the firm. And then… well, I screwed up. And it was bad.

In 1986, Fink’s team lost $100 million when the hedges they put in place for protection fizzled due to interest rates falling unexpectedly. Despite the fortune he made the company in the decade he worked there, First Boston never gave him that promotion to CEO he was hoping for. Eventually, he quit the company in 1988.

The Founding of Blackstone Financial Management (BFM)

Some years before quitting, Fink became friends with Ralph Schlosstein, an investment banker who worked at Shearson Lehman Hutton. The friends spoke around 6:30 each morning about the financial markets on the phone and, when they happened to be booked on the same flight in 1987, they started sketching out plans for a new business.

The idea was to fund a company that would model financial securities and analyze the risks they contain.

Following his resignation, Fink invited some coworkers at First Boston to his house to discuss a new business idea:

  • Robert S. Kapito, First Boston’s VP of mortgage products
  • Barbara Novick, the head of portfolio products
  • Keith Anderson, a bond analyst
  • Ben Golub, a mathematician who designed risk-management tools

In addition to Larry’s colleagues, Schlosstein brought in people from Shearson Lehman, too. He also introduced the group to Susan Wagner and Hugh Frater, mortgage bond specialists.

The new squad brainstormed and decided to start a new bond investment management firm using comprehensive risk management and modern technology.

Since they didn’t have money to launch the business, Fink dug out his Rolodex. He talked to two former Lehman bankers, Steve Schwarzman and Pete Peterson, who worked at Blackstone Group, a rising star in the industry. Eventually, Blackstone agreed to house the new business in their offices and gave the group a $5 million loan for a 50% stake in the venture.

Eventually, this led to the birth of Blackstone Financial Management or BFM.

BlackRock

The first project of BMF was the risk-management platform called Asset, Liability, Debt, and Derivative Investment Network or Aladdin. The first version cost them just $20,000 to develop in-office. From this point forward, the company thrived with Fink as the CEO.

BFM was strong from the beginning, mostly thanks to its unique approach and good connections. Within six years since its establishment, the company managed around $23 billion in assets and counted around 150 employees in addition to the eight founding partners.

However, Fink’s management of the business angered Schwarzman, which eventually led to the BFM and Blackstone Group split. This, of course, meant that the company needed a new name. After considering some options, including Bedrock, the founders decided on BlackRock.

Bloomberg produced a great segment that concisely explains the rivalry between the 2 companies if you’re interested in learning more.

In 1994, the Blackstone family sold its 50% stake in BlackRock for $240 million. The new buyer was PNC Bank from Pittsburgh, which eventually listed it on the stock market in 1999. At the time of the October 1999 public listing, BlackRock’s assets under management totaled a whopping $165 billion.

When BlackRock split from Blackstone in 1994, Fink retained his many positions in the former. He became chairman in 1998, and he was already CEO of Blackrock, chairman of the executive and leadership committees, co-chair of the global client committee, and chair of the corporate council.

The IPO wasn’t a success, though. The listing, which was arranged by Merrill Lynch investment managers, valued the company at under $900 million, which was much lower than expected. Fink planned to scrap the listing, but Merrill’s chief executive David Komansky recommended that he pursue the IPO right away and keep working on making the business a success in the following years.

The Success of BlackRock

When the dot-com stock market bubble burst, BlackRock’s business started attracting more and more investors in search of steady fees. At this point, the company was able to use its shares as currency to buy rivals, so Larry Fink focused on making acquisitions instead of simply acquiring new customers.

The first major deal that led to the growth of the company was the purchase of State Street Research in 2004. BlackRock bought the money manager for $375 million.

larry fink blackrock
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Two years later, Fink learned that Stan O’Neal, the new CEO of Merrill Lynch, planned to sell the money management arm of the investment bank he led. The pair signed the deal at the first meeting and today, BlackRock and Merrill Lynch Investment Managers are a colossus with almost $1 trillion of assets under management.

In 2006, BlackRock made another major purchase when they spent $5.4 billion on Stuyvesant Town-Peter Copper Village, a Manhattan housing complex. This was the largest residential real estate deal made in US history at the point. When the project ended in default, the clients of the company lost their investments, and the California Pension and Retirement System lost around $500 million.

Stuyvesant Town-Peter Copper Village
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In December 2009, BlackRock bought Barclays Global Investors, a step that made Blackrock the largest money management firm on a global level.

Fast forward to 2016, and BlackRock boasted $5 trillion in assets under management. The company was spread across 27 countries and had over 12,000 under-employment.

Success and Stake at Blackrock

Fink is known for his long-term vision and great leadership in the financial world. He has played a key role throughout Blackrock’s history in significant events and acquisitions, including the 2008 financial crisis. The US government awarded the company with a contract to aid the nation’s recovery after the financial crisis. BlackRock’s work with the administration eventually led to professional relationships with members of President Obama’s administration and economic recovery team, such as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

Under Fink’s leadership, BlackRock hired several executive branch appointees to the company, which only strengthened the company’s association with the federal government.

In 2018, over two decades after Fink joined the investment company, he finally reached billionaire status. At that point, most of his estimated net worth came from BlackRock.

In 2023, the CEO sold nearly 7% of his stake in the asset management giant, which earned him a payout of $25 million.

Following this sale, he was left with 435,260 shares in the asset management firm, making him the largest individual shareholder of BlackRock. This stake is worth nearly $400 million today.

A lot of Fink’s net worth is sourced from his salary and dividends at the company, too. He reportedly earns between $20 and $40 million in salary compensation, making him one of the highest-paid CEOs in the world. His salary has grown tremendously alongside Blackrock.

For instance, he earned $36 million in total compensation in 2021, comprised of his $1.5 million base salary, $18.4 million in equity incentives, $11.3 million bonus, and $4.9 million in deferred equity. In comparison, he earned $23.6 million in 2010.

Public Perception and Community Involvement

Larry Fink has been known for his contribution to charitable causes and vocal stance on companies that take action on climate change.

In 2018, he sent out an annual letter to shareholders, stating that other companies should be more aware of their impact on society. However, since BlackRock is the largest investor in weapon manufacturers through its US Aerospace and Defense ETF, antiwar organizations were discontented with his statement. Fink has become a controversial figure as Blackrock has grown and invested in contentious assets and companies. His strong connections to government officials is also often cited as evidence that he is corrupting politicians for profit.

In September of the same year, one activist with Code Pink, the non-profit organization, confronted him onstage at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit on the matter.

larry fink protest
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2020 saw Fink yet another open letter speaking of BlackRock’s future investment decisions and goals for environmental sustainability. He shared that BlackRock would be cutting ties with investments that involved large environmental risks. His letter spoke of how climate will drive the global economy and affect all of its aspects in the future.

Despite his attempts to settle the controversies, Fink was named one of the country’s top climate villains by The Guardian in 2022.

Fink is a strong supporter of the New York City Police Foundation. The foundation supports the New York City Police Department.

larry fink nypd
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Awards and Accomplishments

Over the years, Fink has received many prestigious awards and honorable mentions, including:

  • 2007: Golden Plate Award by the American Academy of Achievement
  • 2015: Appeal of Conscience Award
  • 2015: Americas Society Gold Medal
  • 2016: ABANA Achievement Award for exemplary leadership in banking and finance, especially for his contribution to professional cooperation between the Middle East, North Africa, and the US
  • 2016: UCLA Medal
  • 2018: Forbes World’s Most Powerful People, ranked #28
  • 2019: Charles Schwab Financial Innovation Award
  • 2020: II Inaugural Award for Institutional Investor of the Year
larry fink scwab award
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Larry Fink Net Worth: Other Assets and Investments

As can be expected for a man who founded and led an investment company, the majority of Fink’s investments are held through BlackRock. However, Fink has also been involved in several other ventures and endeavors outside of his role at the company.

He has served on several boards at BlackRock, but also sits on the boards of the World Economic Forum and the Council of Foreign Relations. He has also served on the board of trustees for New York University, is a trustee of the Boys and Girls Club of New York, and co-chairs the NYU Langone Medical Center.

larry fink world economic forum
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In addition to this, he has millions of dollars invested in real estate (not to mention the many billions of dollars Blackrock has invested in the asset class).

He and his wife Lori own homes in North Salem, New York, Manhattan, and Colorado, among others. While we don’t know the value of each of his properties, we know that the family bought Finch Farm in North Salem, New York for $3.7 million back in 2004, and have expanded the property by buying several other parcels in the same location. One of the parcels belonged to Maurice Sendak and was worth $5.4 million when they purchased it in 2019.

What Can We Learn from Larry Fink’s Story?

Larry Fink’s journey from the financial markets of New York to the helm of BlackRock, one of the world’s largest asset management firms, offers a wealth of insights into leadership and entrepreneurship – as well as the creation of wealth. If you’re interested in learning more from Fink, you can check out the podcast he did with Nicolai Tangen below.

Fink co-founded BlackRock in the late 1980s, which pioneered a revolutionary approach to investment management – one that combined cutting-edge technology with sophisticated risk analysis. His vision laid the groundwork for the company’s meteoric rise.

As chairman and CEO of the business, Fink showcased exceptional strategic acumen and leadership. Over the years, he has steered the company through turbulent economic periods and kept it an industry leader, which is highly inspiring.

Fink’s net worth, which is estimated at $1.2 billion, reflects the value he has created for clients, shareholders, and employees. Some experts even think that he should be even more wealthy considering his influence on finance and the world.

Beyond financial success, Fink’s story reminds us of the importance of environmental stewardship and social responsibility in business (whether he has had a positive influence or not). If even the ultra-capitalist Larry Fink can advocate for corporate sustainability and climate action, it’s clear that businesses can play a major role in addressing global challenges.