A Brief Look at the Life and Legacy of Charles HallacMarch 16, 2018
Charles Shaul Hallac was an American business executive and the first employee hired by BlackRock Incorporated, an investment management corporation, when they began operating in 1988. He remained employed at BlackRock for the rest of his career, serving as Chief Operating Officer from 2009 until 2014 when he was made co-president, a position he retained until the date of his passing on September 9th, 2015.
Early Life and Education
Charles Hallac, or Charlie as he was known to friends and family, was born on October 20, 1964 in Tel Aviv, Israel. He grew up in Manila, Philippines from early childhood, attending the International School Manila in Taguig until his graduation. From there, he moved to Waltham, Massachusetts, to study Computer Science at Brandeis University.
After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in both Computer Science and Economics, he moved again, this time to New York City, where he joined the First Boston Corporation as an associate in their Mortgage Products Group, where he met Laurence D. Fink, the future founder and CEO of BlackRock Incorporated. He worked with First Boston for a year before joining the newly founded BlackRock, Inc.
Career and Achievements
During Charles Hallac’s time with the corporation, he co-founded their risk management division, BlackRock Solutions, which was built around a system called Asset, Liability, Debt and Derivative Investment Network. “Aladdin” for short.
Aladdin connected the firm’s trading, risk management, and communications, allowing them to manage cross-department finances in real time. At the time of its implementation, it was a very innovative move for an investment management firm, and one that many credit with BlackRock’s success and longevity in its industry. For this, Charles Hallac and his colleague Dr. Bennett Golub received the Asset Management Risk Manager of the Year award in 2001 from Risk Magazine. And today, Aladdin is still the industry standard, and it’s used to manage around 15 trillion dollars in global assets for BlackRock and their clients alone.
End of Life
In his later years, Charles Hallac lived in Scarsdale, New York, with his wife Sarah and their three children, David, Rebecca, and A.J.. In 2012, he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and underwent treatment for nearly four years, over which time he achieved the position of Co-President of BlackRock.
In 2016 and at the age of 50, Charles Hallac passed away at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Charles Hallac is survived by his wife and children, as well as his parents, David and Linda. In his honor, The BlackRock Hallac Scholarship was established at the Georgia Institute of Technology by his wife Sarah and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, which provides cost-of-attendance scholarships to two underprivileged and exceptionally driven STEM students every year, covering tuition, fees, books and supplies, and housing.
In addition to the scholarship award, BlackRock also provides mentorship, helping recipients to secure paid internships between their second and third years of study, and offering each of them paid internships within the corporation between their third and fourth years.
Author: Kris Beck