BST Awards 2022: Best buy-side IBOR (investment book of record) platform—BlackRock

Product: Aladdin


Asset managers and owners are consistently challenged by unwieldy, inefficient operating models and poor data governance. Aladdin addresses this by providing clients with a real-time investment book of record (Ibor), delivered through a common data language across risk, portfolio management, trading, operations and compliance.

“While Aladdin enables us to efficiently manage a variety of asset types, it also enables us to seamlessly cope with many regulatory and market changes. All Aladdin users are part of a community that influences the evolution of the system and benefits from it, like ESG data integration or the introduction of CSDR. Overall, Aladdin enables us to focus on what matters―creating value for our clients.”
Laurent Nicolai de Gorhez, COO, UBP Asset Management

What problem does it address?

The Aladdin platform is designed to simplify firms’ technology footprints, enable scale and support business transformation. Aladdin Ibor data is a “golden source of truth” at the center of those benefits―with real-time positions, cash, compliance, and all other investment activity across public and private assets―allowing clients to avoid needless data synchronization and reconciliation.

Secret sauce 

The Aladdin platform is used by a number of the industry’s largest asset managers and owners, including BlackRock. This user-provider model―combined with consistent R&D, as well as insights from community forums, executive summits and client leadership―drives the collaboration between the firm and its clients.

Recent milestones

  • Continued integration of BlackRock subsidiary, eFront, yielding a portfolio management platform supporting pre-trade compliance, real-time portfolio construction, cash forecasting and multi-asset operations capabilities, including processing of cash wires via Swift.
  • The Aladdin Provider network enables clients to streamline post-trade operations, outsource middle-office operations to third-party asset servicers or enhance integration capabilities.
  • Aladdin Studio now provides API capabilities, enabling users to build technology and create differentiated solutions for investment management workflows on top of the Aladdin platform.
“A firm’s Ibor doesn’t just tell the story of their activities―it provides the basis for all investment decision-making. Regardless of firm size or type, the Aladdin platform unifies the investment process and drives transparency across our clients’ many portfolio, risk and accounting needs under a common data language. This helps them make more informed decisions, scale and expand into new asset classes in order to accelerate their growth.”
Tarek Chouman, managing director, global head of business development for the Aladdin Business, BlackRock

Future objectives 

BlackRock is preparing an alpha release of its proprietary, native accounting capabilities with:

  • An integrated Ibor/Abor/Pbor offering that will create a single, end-to-end data flow supporting investors, accountants, performance and reporting professionals.
  • Updated technology and reimagined workflows designed for scale and efficiency. 
  • This integration will eliminate unnecessary reconciliations and reduce firms’ technology footprints.

Why they won

New York-based BlackRock follows up its two successes in these awards last year by winning the best buy-side Ibor category, thanks to its well-established Aladdin platform. Recent enhancements to the platform include continued integration with the eFront platform and the availability of Aladdin Studio APIs, allowing users to develop their own customized investment management workflows on top of the Aladdin platform. Next on the agenda for Aladdin are new accounting capabilities featuring integrated Ibor/Abor/Pbor functionality that will no doubt strike a chord with its very substantial buy-side user base.           

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