Navigating Internal Mobility? Here's What Worked for These BlackRock Leaders
Check out advice from five BlackRock leaders on how they've navigated internal mobility to grow their careers.
Pui Ian Tong is a Vice President on the BlackRock Solutions Implementations team. Learn more about her role and her experience at BlackRock.
Tell us a bit about your role at BlackRock, and what your journey at the company has been like.
I am an implementation manager for Aladdin, BlackRock’s investment management technology that is both used internally and delivered externally to other financial institutions. My team is responsible for the installation and deployment of Aladdin products and services; we work with clients to understand, redesign and deploy strategic business workflows across the full spectrum of the investment cycle.
I started as a summer intern at BlackRock in 2012, and joined the firm as a full-time analyst the following year; I became part of the Aladdin team in 2018. My first role here provided me with opportunities to pick up technical skills like SQL and acquire a strong grasp of all asset classes, as well as interact with colleagues across both BlackRock’s asset management business and its Aladdin technology business. Serving as a security data subject matter expert in my next role, I was able to work even more closely with our clients and the Aladdin business. This gave me a glimpse into how Aladdin transforms investment organizations – including some of the largest in Singapore and Southeast Asia.
What attracted you to the company when you first joined?
The people! When I started as an intern, I feared that my lack of knowledge in finance and technology would make me a liability to my team. My worries were quickly dispelled with the open culture of BlackRock, where everyone, regardless of level, is always ready to share their knowledge. My manager even connected me with experts in the U.S. for my internship project.
What excites or inspires you most about working on Aladdin?
Aladdin is always evolving to provide technology solutions for different segments of the finance industry. I constantly feel challenged in my role, having to quickly gain in-depth knowledge of functionality and workflows as well as industry expertise to ensure clients are able to take full advantage of everything Aladdin has to offer.
How do you view BlackRock’s position in the fintech space?
BlackRock’s position in the fintech space has increased rapidly in recent years. When I first joined BlackRock eight years ago, few of my friends and family had heard about us. With the growth of BlackRock, plus having Aladdin deployed to multiple organizations in the region, our technology offering has become much better known, with an expanding user base among larger organizations.
How do you work with other teams within Aladdin and/or across BlackRock?
One of my key responsibilities as an implementation manager is to coordinate resources across different Aladdin and BlackRock teams. We work with product managers to support client development needs; the client services team to configure the Aladdin environment to each client’s needs; and our client engagement partners to ensure a smooth transition from implementation to daily operations and servicing. Successfully implementing a client is a true One BlackRock effort.
How would you describe the culture at BlackRock Singapore?
Open and driven – people are always willing to share their knowledge and engage in productive discussions. BlackRock is constantly seeking out ways to improve and grow, which translates into new opportunities and challenges you can raise your hand for. The Singapore office is diverse and multinational but with a small company feel – everyone is accessible, and people get to know each other on a more personal level. That’s what I enjoy most!
In what ways do you feel supported by your local team in Singapore and by BlackRock as a whole?
The emphasis BlackRock places on people’s well-being, and its recognition that every individual has many aspects of their lives that they are juggling – from career to family to hobbies and interests – is evident from all aspects of the organization. With benefits like flexible time off and active employee networks that are open to everyone, I feel encouraged to bring my whole self to work and to champion the causes I am passionate about.
My managers have also been very supportive of my personal pursuits. When I wanted to visit the U.S. for six weeks, my manager allowed me to combine my trip with some time working in our New York and Seattle offices. This allowed me to enjoy my travels and provided an amazing opportunity to finally meet my U.S. colleagues – some of whom I have been working with since I joined the firm.