Want to work for Blackrock when you leave school? Click here. Want to work on Blackrock’s epic Aladdin system? Read on.
If you’re not familiar with the Aladdin system, then know this. Aladdin is BlackRock’s secret sauce. Blackrock itself describes Aladdin as, ‘an operating system for investment managers that connects the information, people and technology needed to manage money in real time.’ Comprised of 25m lines of code, Aladdin does everything from analysing risk to managing portfolios. And it doesn’t just do it for Blackrock. It also acts as the central risk and portfolio system at 60 other firms, which together handle $14tn worth of assets – or 7% of all the shares, bonds and loans in the entire world.
In other words, Aladdin is big, If you’re a quantitative risk specialist, it’s easy to see why you might want to work on it.
Rumour has it that Aladdin has recently made a big hire. Recruiters in NYC tell us that Blackrock has just picked up Michael Turok, an ex-managing director from Merrill Lynch and former head of BAML’s New York quant strategist group. Blackrock declined to comment and Turok didn’t respond to our attempt at contacting him.
What makes Turok’s appointment significant? Firstly, his seniority. Secondly, his history. Turok has spent the past 20 years working on Wall Street’s risk analytics systems. 12 of those were at Goldman Sachs, where he helped build up Goldman’s proprietary risk platform SecDBb. Interestingly, Turok was also one of the first developers to work on Aladdin, back in 1994 when – as a vice president at Blackrock, he worked on the original fixed income analytics at the core of the system.
Turok left his last job at Bank of America last year. At BAML he’s said to have reported to Kirat Singh, another banking ‘tech guru’ whose career also spans SecDB, along with BAML’s Quartz system. Singh quit BAML last year and has founded his own company, Washington Square Technologies, which mentors quant developer teams.
At Blackrock, Turok is allegedly charged upgrading Aladdin and building a new cross asset risk management and trading system like JPMorgan’s Athena. He may yet be hiring. We don’t have this confirmed by Blackrock, but the space definitely seems worth watching.