BlackRock and Microsoft have formed a strategic partnership to host BlackRock’s Aladdin infrastructure on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. By adopting Microsoft Azure, BlackRock will both accelerate innovation on Aladdin through greater computing scale and unlock new capabilities to enhance the client experience.
BlackRock will also leverage Microsoft Azure’s network of global data centers and capabilities to meet the localized needs of Aladdin clients, all while maintaining standards for resiliency and security.
Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business, said in a statement: “Together, we will empower an ecosystem of financial services customers running their most critical workloads in the cloud.”
As the financial services industry looks to navigate ever-changing markets, institutions need integrated and scalable platforms to adapt to the growing complexity of managing data, risk management and advanced analytics to deliver innovative solutions to clients. To help support this trend, over time, the Microsoft Azure platform will enable BlackRock to accelerate innovation and collaboration between Aladdin and providers across the financial services ecosystem.
In line with both firms’ commitment to sustainability, BlackRock and Microsoft will also work together on initiatives that leverage technology to improve and expand sustainability data and analytics. The lack of standardized, high-quality data remains a significant hurdle in understanding the impact of sustainability-related risk on investment portfolios and company performance. Big data, machine learning and AI can all play a critical role in improving access to and the impact and quality of sustainability data.
The two firms will invite collaboration – whether from academics, startups, non-profits or others – on sustainability-related data, analytics and technology. As a first step, the firms will collaborate on challenge grants for organizations that use data and technology to understand and drive sustainability. The firms will also provide technical expertise, leveraging Microsoft’s scale in computing, big data and AI, and BlackRock’s leading investment and portfolio management solutions to support a better understanding of corporate sustainability behavior.