BlackRock is a multinational investment management firm. It has over 135 investment teams, $4.72 trillion in assets, offices in over 30 countries and over 12,000 employees as of October, 2015, according to the company's website.
In addition to the $4 trillion in assets under its control, BlackRock has an additional $11 trillion that it oversees on its trading platform. This total of $15 trillion in assets amounts to 7 percent of the world's shares, bonds and loans, according to The Economist. It owns a stake in almost every listed company worldwide. This causes some concern among U.S. regulators, who are considering imposing tighter regulations in order to prevent a potentially catastrophic failure.
As a manager of other people's money, BlackRock controls the investments under its management but is able to pass along the profits and losses to its clients, explains The Economist. This puts it in a position to withstand shocks in the market. Additionally, its ability to cheaply buy assets from financially troubled sellers plays a role in stabilizing the market. Unlike many banks in the United States that owe a good deal of their financial stability to the government, BlackRock has earned its success through its efforts to provide value for its clients.