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BlackRock casts its lot with machines, over managers

Last year, US$423b left actively managed stock funds and US$390b poured into index funds.

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Mr Fink has become convinced that BlackRock must bet big on the power of machines, be it Aladdin, the firm's risk management platform, robo-advisers, big data or even artificial intelligence.

SCORE one for the machines. The largest fund company in the world, BlackRock, has faced a thorny challenge since it acquired the exchange-traded fund business from Barclays in 2009. These low cost, computer-driven funds have exploded in growth, leaving in the dust the stock pickers who had

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