BlackRock joins TikTok to attract Gen Z and millennial investors

The world's most influential money manager is the latest financial giant aiming to appeal to younger investors on the viral video platform

Signage is displayed at the entrance to BlackRock Inc. headquarters in New York, U.S, on on Sunday, July 12, 2020. BlackRock is scheduled to release earnings figures on July 17. Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg
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BlackRock’s status as the world’s biggest money manager with $10 trillion in assets powers it with influence across the economic, financial and political spheres. It’s now taken a baby step into a new arena: TikTok.

The financial industry giant started an account on Thursday, posting a 10-second clip featuring a group of young professionals in what appears to be the company’s offices.

The video begins with the beat of a playful, sanguine bop, when Kingsley Udoyi, a BlackRock employee, slowly creeps up behind a desk screen, itching to share some news. “Guess what?” Mr Udoyi says.

In quick succession, cheery office workers swivel from behind their desk chairs, pop out from behind their desks, and appear around a corner, the company’s logo flashing throughout the clip.

After building anticipation, Mr Udoyi finally shares the scoop: “BlackRock is on TikTok.”

The short clip then encourages followers to “hit that follow button for tips on financial wellness”, ending with a pan on the front entrance of a BlackRock office.

While the brief, quirky content may seem uncharacteristic for the financial giant, TikTok has a highly engaged audience — nearly half of them between the ages of 10 and 29, according to Backlinko.

The platform has also witnessed a huge appetite for finance content, with several influencers dedicated to “FinTok”, and users seeking advice on investing, saving, cryptocurrency, budgeting and more.

According to the clip, BlackRock hopes to educate its followers on financial wellness, which appears to be part of BlackRock chief executive Larry Fink’s campaign to promote “financial inclusion”.

The company hopes to use the account to educate a new generation of investors so that they can “begin building a strong financial future”, global chief marketing officer of BlackRock Frank Cooper III said.

“As we strive to foster greater financial inclusion, our engagement on TikTok reflects our commitment to help more and more people experience financial well-being,” he said.

BlackRock isn’t the only financial service to see the potential to expand its clientele on TikTok. US asset manager Fidelity also created a TikTok account in June 2021, garnering 11,600 followers since its debut.

Numerous financial services, including Wealthfront and Betterment, have struck partnerships with “finfluencers” to advertise their services on the platform.

The investment giant’s debut on the Gen Z platform is the latest attempt among traditional financial institutions to lure in the next generation of clients whose perceptions and methods of managing their money differ vastly than generations before.

As we strive to foster greater financial inclusion, our engagement on TikTok reflects our commitment to help more and more people experience financial well-being
Frank Cooper III, global chief marketing officer of BlackRock

The move follows UBS Group’s $1.4 billion-dollar deal to buy robo-adviser Wealthfront — a move seen as an appeal to Gen Z and millennial investors who want digital, automated financial services.

While BlackRock may be revered among an older affluent elite with the power to reshape global capitalism and move markets, it holds little sway over younger audiences on social media.

But that’s not to say the company hasn’t experienced online glory — in January, a TikTok video highlighting free toilet facilities at its New York office went viral.

Updated: February 06, 2022, 4:30 PM