BlackRock Quants Sustain Record Losses in Setback to Fink Plan

Like so many fund titans these days, Laurence D. Fink is betting on machines to turn around BlackRock Inc.’s beleaguered stock-picking business. Trouble is, they just might have made things worse. BlackRock’s main quantitative hedge-fund strategies — which use computer models to sort through vast amounts of data to pick out patterns — were on track for losses in 2016, according to a monthly client update sent out in late December. Of the five included, four were set for their worst returns on record, data through November showed. A separate investor presentation with a broader quant lineup showed that almost two-thirds underperformed. Laurence D. Fink Photographer: Justin Chin/Bloomberg While quants represent just a fraction of BlackRock’s assets under management, the losses are a setback for Fink, who combined the group — a top performer…


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