BlackRock has been chosen as Institutional Investor of the Year (Equity) having completed a raft of impressive deals in 2019 while enjoying a solid reputation for excellence and thought leadership.

The judging panel praised the firm’s clear vision on social resposibility and sustainability, artciulated in chairman and chief executive Larry Fink’s annual letters to CEOs. In 2019, Fink called for businesses to put purpose over profit and BlackRock launched a new Carbon Beta investment metric, which allows portfolio managers to measure the impact of future carbon price scenarios on their portfolios.

“The fact that they move the needle and have others want to ride their coat tails – that’s what makes them a market mover,” said an energy and infrastructure attorney.

In 2019, BlackRock closed its latest levered convertible equity transaction with NextEra Energy, having debuted the complex structure the previous year with a portfolio of renewable energy assets. This time around, the asset was a natural gas pipeline. In the power sector, BlackRock also provided preferred equity for Caithness Energy’s Guernsey Power Station in Ohio, the largest gas-fired combined-cycle project to reach financial close last year.

In renewable energy, the firm backed CleanCapital’s move into battery storage and formed a distributed solar joint venture with GE Renewable Energy, while tweaking its portfolio elsewhere with smoothly executed exits.

BlackRock’s global energy and infrastructure power team is “sophisticated and smart,” says an official at a private equity rival. “They don’t want to take merchant risk, but they’re good at finding structural solutions to get the risk profile they’re looking for.”

The core team, led by Mark Florian, joined BlackRock in 2017 from First Reserve. Project finance bankers picked out Tim Vincent, who is head of captial markets for the team, as an outstanding professional.

See all of the 2019/2020 awards


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