BlackRock's Chief Risk Officer: 'The Market May Not Learn'

Dr. Bennett W. Golub, vice-chairman and co-founder of BlackRock, a three trillion dollar asset management firm, shared hard-earned wisdom and general principles drawn from his role as the chief risk officer of BlackRock at a guest lecture for Polytechnic Institute of NYU students and faculty on January 21.

He underlined how important it is for institutions to prioritize their risk management, especially as time — and memory — moves away from the most recent financial crisis.

“The market may not learn,” Dr. Golub explained, pointing out that he intentionally titled his talk “Lessons Worth Remembering” rather than “Lessons Learned,” “but we should still try to avoid repeating mistakes.”

Dr. Golub also spoke about how to align and manage investor and institutional interests, getting risk takers to think like risk managers, the lessons of liquidity, complexity, and opacity, the hidden risks of certification, the truth about market efficiency, and the increasingly prominent role of policy risk, among many other topics.

After the talk, the audience, comprised of students and faculty from the Department of Finance and Risk Engineering as well as the broader NYU-Poly and NYU community, asked questions about the future of the financial system and the required skill set for risk managers.

Dr. Golub explained that the best risk managers must not only be intelligent and creative problem solvers, but that they must also have a strong ability to communicate and persuade others.

The Morton L. Topfer Lecture Series and the Department of Finance and Risk Engineering sponsored the talk.