BlackRock cofounder: Investing should be more like a video game to attract millennials

South park mobile gameComedy Central/South ParkThe South Park mobile game — maybe they had the right idea?
  • “Millennials want to game. It’s a game society,” Rob Kapito said.
  • “The winners are going to be the people who have that game, the technology, and the brand.”

LONDON — The cofounder of BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, thinks financial services companies need to be more like games developers to win over millennial investors.

“Millennials want to game. It’s a game society,” Rob Kapito said at the Barclays New Frontier conference in London on Thursday.

Robert Kapito, President of BlackRock, and Mark Miller, Managing Director, iShares Institutional Business at BlackRock, ring the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange on May 20, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by )Dario Cantatore/NYSE Euronext via Getty ImagesRobert Kapito, President of BlackRock, at the New York Stock Exchange.

“Most people use Uber because they will say you’ve got the card, it’s already paid for, it shows up — that’s not why people really like it. They love watching the car come get them. It’s a game. All of the technology is gamification,” he said.

“What we need to do is find the financial game that makes people feel comfort and safety. The winners, in my opinion, are going to be the people who have that game, have the technology, and have the brand.”

Earlier this year BlackRock invested €30 million into Scalable Capital, a European app-only investment platform. BlackRock, which manages $US5.7 trillion globally, also acquired FutureAdvisor, an automated investment platform, in 2015.

Kapito, who is also BlackRock’s president, said the asset manager was also adapting its working culture to suit millennial staff. He joked that a recent office redesign looked to him “like a diner” with booths and places to stand. He added that businesses need to offer more flexible working hours and routines to accommodate millennials.

Kapito, who was being interviewed by Barclays CEO Jes Staley, also discussed the role of artificial intelligence in financial services, saying machines won’t replace humans.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.