Blackrock, First Barry, Goldman Sachs discussed on Masters in Business


And index investments BlackRock manages about $10 trillion the ETF business is about 3.27 trillion Samarkand welcome to Bloomberg Thank you so much Barry I'm happy to be here I'm happy to have you here I have so many questions to ask you but I have to start out with your education which we usually skimp over So you graduated you pen with a BS in economics and finance at Wharton but you also had a BA in theater arts How has theater training helped in your financial career First Barry when you hear theater a lot of people might think that I was an actor So I feel like I need to start with the fact that I was decidedly a backstage kid My love of theater was very much on the production design directing behind the scenes side and that has definitely helped me across the course of my career But I have to tell you I came to the University of Pennsylvania to be a theater major And I left with the dual degree in finance and theater So finance was something I discovered because I knew I was good at math In fact when I started college I didn't really need to take any math classes because I had all of this credit And I missed it And so I discovered markets and economics and it felt like math with a purpose So and I got to combine the financial degree with the theater degree which made my parents much more comfortable with the fact that I was spending all of my summers working for regional theater companies basically But it was a big part of learning who I am and today in my role I often remember being told that casting is 95% of directing and putting the right person in the right seat is a lot about leading any business So it definitely has played a part throughout Really interesting So you end up interning at Goldman Sachs on the trading floor pretty early in your career Tell us what that was like and how theatrical was that Well actually I came to Goldman out of business school I well my first job was actually a BlackRock That's where I came out of college I was a BlackRock for four years went to business school and part of why I went back to school after BlackRock was in my head I thought maybe I could further combine this love of finance and love of theater and how might I do that And I loved the idea of going back to school I'm kind of a voracious learner and I'd worked hard and I liked the idea of meeting other people and seeing what was out there after four years of working And in that summer and actually in the process of figuring out where I wanted to work for the summer I visited a trading floor And I walked onto the trading floor and I thought this is it It's a lot like theater It's a lot like that multitasking high energy collaborative environment where lots of things are happening at the same time And I thrive in that And so actually the theater the trading floor I found pretty theatrical and that really worked for me Yeah there's a buzz There's an electricity on a big trading floor which I think is one of the things that's lost from old Wall Street You can replace it with more efficient algorithms and technology but man when you walk onto a big floor you just feel it There's nothing like that And ever have a desire to become a trader was that did that ever appeal to you Until I walked on to the trading floor the idea really scared me And you know what I actually I don't think I've ever told anybody this I did not proactively send my resume to the securities division They reached out to me as part of a diversity hiring effort to get more women onto the trading floor And the reason I didn't send my resume was it sounded really intimidating to me And so I think that's just an important thing to note is that sometimes if something's interesting even if it's intimidating it's a worth checking out because I knew And yes there weren't a lot of women on the floor when I walked out there but it was really clear to me that I would you know once I got my bearings and learned to speak the language it can be an intimidating place at first but I knew it would be a great fit for me So let's talk about that seat you have at BlackRock You recently were promoted to chief investment officer of ETFs and index investments That sounds like a pretty serious job especially when we consider at BlackRock that's well over $3 trillion in assets tell us a little bit about your new job responsibilities I'm really excited about the new job And even more than me being in the job I'm excited about the fact that we have achieved investment officer role for ETFs and index And it actually is broader than the ETF book It's our whole indexing book And what it means in short is that I'm accountable for investment performance in our ETF and index box which I love telling people because sometimes they look at me and they say well I don't really understand that Isn't investment performance The outperformance of a benchmark and aren't you Samara ETF and index person the benchmark So what is investment performance And we've done a lot of work really in partnership with our clients and articulating what that is And in the case of ETFs and index it's two things It's first what we call market quality What do you expect in an ETF That's how it trades in the market Secondary market volumes market quality in stressed scenarios premium discount behavior There's a bunch of metrics that we monitor with respect to ETF market quality Part of my job.

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