Snowflake, BlackRock forge partnership, connect Aladdin platform with Snowflake Data Cloud

The move brings third party data sources to BlackRock's Aladdin platform and gives Snowflake an inroad to a key market.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Snowflake and BlackRock, the largest asset management firm, are forging a partnership to combine BlackRock's Aladdin investment technology with Snowflake's Data Cloud.

The combination will give Snowflake a big lift in the investment management industry. Under the partnership, Blackrock will launch Aladdin Data Cloud, an investment platform that will be powered by Snowflake.

According to the companies, the combination will bring Aladdin and non-Aladdin data together and enable developers to utilize it via Aladdin Studio. BlackRock's Aladdin platform includes operating systems for wealth management, accounting, risk management, and sustainable investing.

Sudhir Nair, Managing Director and Global Head of Aladdin Business at BlackRock, said Aladdin serves an operating system for money management. "Managing money is an information processing exercise," said Nair.

BlackRock is the biggest user of Aladdin, but Nair said there are more than 200 third-party users. Of that 200, about half of them use Aladdin end to end with the other half using the system for risk management.

Each Aladdin Data Cloud customer will receive an independent centrally managed data store preloaded with Aladdin data sets that can be supplemented by proprietary and third-party data sources.

Nair said customers have been asking for more third party data connections. "There is an insatiable desire to interact with data. We've been opening the platform over the years with APIs," said Nair.

Those data connections is where Snowflake comes in. Aladdin does a lot, but Snowflake's platform would enable a customer to bring in its own data sets, curate them and mix and match third party sources. 

BlackRock will be a founding partner for Snowflake's Powered by Snowflake program. The program allows Snowflake to bring its expertise to industry-specific platforms. BlackRock is about as big as it gets for financial services firms.

Frank Slootman, CEO of Snowflake, said "our goal is to create a new industry standard in financial services for accessing, governing and acting on data in a unified and secure data environment."

Matt Glickman, Head of Finance Strategy at Snowflake, said the combination of Aladdin and Snowflake addresses the evolution of investment management. "More and more people can trade portfolios and write Python code," said Glickman. "The aim is to enable users to assemble and build services together."

Aladdin Data Cloud powered by Snowflake will be an add-on service to existing Aladdin customers. Nair said there has been strong interest from customers in the Snowflake partnership. For Snowflake, Aladdin will provide a way to tap into new customers that want to create accounts and combine data sets easily.

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