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BlackRock is raising pay for director-level and more junior employees, following Wall Street banks

Larry Fink gesturing to his right in front of a black background.
BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink.
Toru Hanai/Reuters

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  • BlackRock told employees on Wednesday that it would raise base pay for directors and below.
  • The raise will go into effect on September 1, the New York-based asset-management firm said.
  • BlackRock's internal announcement followed months of Wall Street banks raising junior pay.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

BlackRock told employees on Wednesday morning that it would raise base pay for staffers at the director level and below by 8% as a way to reward its workforce, according to a memo seen by Insider.

The pay rise will go into effect on September 1, the New York-based asset-management firm said in the memo to employees. It applies to administrative assistants, analysts, associates, vice presidents, and directors across all regions, a spokesperson said. Contingent workers, temporary or fixed-term employees, and interns are not eligible.

The firm will still follow its standard year-end compensation processes in addition to this adjustment, meaning employees are still eligible for additional salary increases effective at the start of next year, Chief Executive Larry Fink and President Rob Kapito said in the memo to employees.

"Your initiative, commitment and teamwork helped ensure that through the pandemic we supported our clients, delivered for shareholders, and gave back to the communities where we operate," they wrote, adding that the bump in base pay was a way to recognize employees' contributions "and ensure you're sharing in our strong growth."

Financial-services firms have broadly raised compensation for employees in recent months. Investment-management firms like BlackRock and investment banks like Goldman Sachs each have different pay structures for their more junior staffers.

Asset managers have widely raised compensation as their businesses have generally performed well against rising stock markets and other tailwinds, according to a June report from Deloitte's Casey Quirk unit. BlackRock has performed particularly well as investors have plowed into its vast fund lineup and markets have risen. Fink earned $29.85 million in total compensation last year, an increase of 18% from 2019, a filing in April showed.

For months, Wall Street banks' leaders have raised pay for junior employees and offered them other incentives as investment-banking analysts have spoken out about their heavy workloads through the pandemic.

On a call to discuss second-quarter earnings results with analysts on Wednesday morning, Chief Financial Officer Gary Shedlin said the base-salary increases were unlikely to have a significant impact on financial results for 2021.

The money manager, which is the largest in the world, reported $9.5 trillion in assets under management, up 30% from $7.3 trillion a year ago. Its shares fell by 3% on Wednesday morning, though the firm beat estimates from analysts polled by Refinitiv.

BlackRock reported second-quarter revenue of $4.8 billion and operating income of $1.9 billion, up 32% and 37% from a year ago.

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