When big money mangers make decisions that result in clients getting screwed, most people assume said managers don't really give a rat's ass. They still have their vaults of hundos to console them, and while they often write letters and release statements saying they're sorry, that they want to regain investors' trust, and so on and so forth no on really buys it. No one feels their pain or sees their contrition on a visceral level and I can't remember the last time I saw one of these guys actually cry. Such is not the case with Larry Fink. This shit keeps him up at night. It makes him shout things like "I never said we're perfect!" It hurts his mother, and in doing so, it hurts him.
Today, the investors who bought equity in the [Stuyvesant Town] deal have also lost their money, including major BlackRock clients—most notably the $200 billion California Pension and Retirement System (calpers), the nation’s largest pension fund, which effectively lost $500 million. At press time, calpers was weighing whether or not to retain BlackRock as a real-estate adviser.At the mention of these blunders, Fink, who has been sprawled in his chair, suddenly stiffens. His voice takes on a harsh tone that is leavened only by his visible anxiety. “When you manage money, you are going to make mistakes. You are not going to be 100 percent perfect. Our job is to minimize those problems, to cauterize them,” Fink says, his voice rising. “We’re not perfect, and I’ve never said to anyone that we are going to be perfect. Our investors had all the information we did and they did their own due diligence.” He exhales deeply. “Our real-estate division is struggling because of bad performance, and we’re making changes. I don’t care if the whole industry blew up, our job is to do better than the industry, and we didn’t in real estate,” he says. “I am not making excuses. I lose sleep over these problems.” The Stuyvesant Town loss was “an embarrassment,” he says. Then his voice drops to a whisper. “I mean, my mother gets her pension from Calpers.”