In our latest podcast, Christian Rolon (WG ’19) is joined by Mary-Catherine Lader, the Chief Operating Officer of Digital Wealth at BlackRock. In this expansive interview, Mary-Catherine dives into BlackRock’s digital strategy, technology as an enabler for asset management businesses, and how FinTech startups are partnering with incumbents and expanding their product lines to become the center of consumers’ financial lives.
The BlackRock Digital Wealth Group provides software solutions to help retail advisors and institutional investors build better investment portfolios by leveraging the Aladdin operating system. BlackRock has made a number of investments in WealthTech startups and incumbents, including Acorns, Personal Capital, Scalable Capital, Envestnet, and iCapital Network. BlackRock also acquired the robo-advisor FutureAdvisor in 2015. BlackRock has nearly $6 trillion in assets under management, serving retail and institutional investors across the world.
- BlackRock’s role as one of the first FinTech companies
- Mary-Catherine’s experience as an entrepreneur, and opportunities for growth in a highly regulated industry
- BlackRock’s success fostering innovation through its culture and leadership
- How BlackRock views the future of asset management, the role of technology, and its position within the industry
- BlackRock’s plans for international investments and expansion
- Challenges in building the next large asset manager, and what independent robo-advisors can learn from BlackRock
- BlackRock’s relationship with their strategic FinTech investments — from learning about their distribution to sharing best practices for portfolio construction and product development
- Future of partnerships between large financial institutions and FinTech startups
- Advice for entrepreneurs looking to partner with BlackRock
- Advice for MBA students choosing firms and roles in the FinTech industry
Mary-Catherine Lader is the Chief Operating Officer of Digital Wealth at BlackRock where she focuses on improving BlackRock’s product offerings for retail advisors and investors through partnerships, acquisitions, and internal projects. Prior to BlackRock, Mary-Catherine was the co-founder of hiWatson, a Fintech startup managing online benefits for independent contractors. Mary-Catherine also worked in Goldman Sachs’s Special Situations Group as an investment analyst focusing on clean energy. She was also on the Media team for the World Economic Forum. During business school, Mary-Catherine interned at Comcast Ventures. Mary-Catherine Lader received her JD/MBA from Harvard University, and her A.B. from Brown University.