BlackRock launches ‘Big Data’ fund range

American investment titan BlackRock has launched a new range of active equity funds which will harness ‘big data’ analysis and machine learning to identify investment opportunities.

The Advantage Series range contains six funds covering the World, US, Emerging Markets, Pan-European, Europe ex-UK and Asia ex-Japan strategies.

The range launched in the US in 2017. It will be managed by BlackRock’s Systematic Active Equity (SAE) team, based in San Francisco and London. The specialist 80+ strong team runs $105 billion (£78.5 billion) in assets.¹

An impressive 90% of the assets managed by the SAE team has outperformed its stock market benchmark over the past five years, according to BlackRock.¹

A range of cutting-edge technologies, including ‘big data’ and machine learning will be used to systematically pick stocks. ‘Investment signals’ from a variety of data sources such as earnings calls, internet traffic and satellite images will also be used by managers to further enhance investment decisions.

The data is combined to create portfolios that aim to provide consistent, differentiated sources of outperformance above the funds’ benchmarks.

The Advantage Series forms part of the four suites that make up BlackRock’s Active Equities platform: Systematic Alpha (where the Advantage Series sits), High Conviction, Specialised Outcomes and Thematic.

Co-head of Systematic Active Equity at BlackRock, Raffaele Savi, said: “The pace of change in the world today is accelerating. The way people interact, transact, work and consume is unrecognisable from even
a decade ago.

“With our new series, we are building on that change and unlocking the opportunities presented by big data including internet search, the geolocation of smartphones and satellite images.

“As pioneers in quantitative investment, we are excited to bring this product offering to a broader range of clients and to help them meet their investment objectives.”

Michael Gruener, Head of EMEA Retail at BlackRock, added: “Client demand has evolved beyond a binary call for active or index investment solutions. Portfolios are now constructed from a range of techniques to reflect the vast array of options and information available to investors.

“The Advantage range, and expansion of our product spectrum, bolsters our active equity franchise and our unique ability to deliver differentiated returns for our clients.”


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All figures correct as at 31.12.2019.