Charles Hallac, co-president of BlackRock, died Wednesday at age 50 after a nearly four-year battle with cancer, said BlackRock spokesman Brian Beades.
Mr. Hallac, who joined the firm in 1988 as its first employee, became BlackRock’s chief operating officer in 2009 and co-president in 2014. He was instrumental in creating the firm’s end-to-end investment and risk management operating system, Aladdin.
“Charlie was not only my partner for many years, but also a trusted and valued friend,” said Laurence D. Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock, in a statement. “His extraordinary innovations … have been central to our success, but his most important legacy is the generation of leaders molded by Charlie’s tremendous ability to lead and mentor.”
Mr. Fink added: “His unrelenting focus and passion to transform our firm and industry through technology were unmatched. Charlie never lost that passion, and even as he battled cancer he continued his life’s work, never complaining and constantly inspiring. All of us will miss him greatly.”
Mr. Hallac purchased the firm’s first computer server, which served as the first step in building Aladdin. He built a team of nearly 2,000 programmers, modelers and risk and data analysts to support Aladdin.
Mr. Hallac also founded the firm’s BlackRock Solutions business, which provides the Aladdin system and other advisory services to financial institutions. He was a key player in BlackRock Solutions’ efforts to assist the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve, foreign governments and major financial firms to stabilize the financial system following the 2008 crisis.
Prior to joining BlackRock, Mr. Hallac was an associate in the mortgage products group at First Boston Corp.
He is survived by his wife, Sarah, and three children, David, Rebecca and A.J.
The Hallac family has asked for any donations in Mr. Hallac’s memory to be made to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.