Andrea Sanhueza is the VP, Head of Institutional Sales in Chile of the largest global investment management company. In this interview with Rocking Talent, she discovers the values that drive the world’s largest investment manager with a deep social and environmental commitment.
BlackRock is one of the world’s leading providers of investment, advisory and risk management solutions, with approximately 10 trillion assets under management and more than 18,000 employees around the world. From 2019, Andrea Sanhueza has the great challenge of, on the one hand, identifying the opportunities that arise in the current and changing market to grow the institutional business in Chile and, on the other hand, to continue consolidating her work team.
She has a BBA and a master’s degree in Finance and has worked in various companies, and says that perseverance is what led her to become the new VP, Head of Institutional Sales at BlackRock in Chile: “What brought me to where I am today was the desire to not feel in my comfort zone, to go for more, to demand more, to demand of myself and to seek challenges that would make me feel “uncomfortable” and that, at the same time, would allow me to grow day by day.
She assures that the journey was not easy and that the biggest challenge was to face herself, her fears and insecurities and, above all, to ask for help and receive feedback to improve: “This has been one of the key aspects, one of the phrases that has marked me the most is ‘don’t take things personally’, always, of course, in a respectful and constructive environment”.
Andrea says that BlackRock’s greatest commitment is to help people invest in an easy and affordable way to build savings that will serve them throughout their lives. In addition, they promote sustainable investing because, she says, they are convinced that it offers better results for their investors and, in this way, contributes to a more resilient economy that benefits more people.
How are you working to promote investment and financial well-being in a challenging global and regional economic environment?
We rely on our principles to guide how we relate to each other, our clients, the communities in which we operate and all other stakeholders. These principles represent our core values, aspirations and language, which are lived and embraced by the BlackRock team.
◾We are fiduciaries with our customers:
Our clients’ interests come first. The fiduciary mentality is the foundation of our identity, it reflects our integrity and the unbiased advice we give our clients. And it’s what inspires us to come to work every day and help people build a better future.
◾We are one BlackRock:
We work collaboratively, without divisions and without borders, to create the best results for our clients, our company and the communities in which we operate.
A diverse workforce is indispensable to our creativity and our success. It’s how we answer the most important questions and solve the toughest problems. An inclusive and equitable environment makes us thrive. It allows us to leverage the unique knowledge and experiences of the entire company and bring out the best in everyone.
◾ We are passionate about performance:
We are relentless in finding better ways to serve our clients and improve BlackRock. Since our founding, innovation has been at the heart of how we deliver performance and anticipate our clients’ needs.
We have continually reinvented ourselves and our industry to help people achieve their goals. We are lifelong learners: of the markets, of technology and of the world.
◾ We get emotionally involved:
The people we serve rely on us to help them prepare for the future. Our culture is defined by the deep sense of responsibility we feel toward our customers and each other.
In everything we do-from the investment returns we deliver to the technology we develop-we are emotionally invested in our customers’ future.
We are equally invested in the success of our company and our colleagues. We hold ourselves and others to the highest standards of excellence.
◾We are committed to a better future:
We are long-term thinkers, focused on helping people build a better future. We are deeply committed to the success of all our stakeholders-customers, employees, shareholders, and the communities in which we operate-and we conduct our business sustainably and responsibly.
In the companies in which we invest for our clients, we advocate sustainable and responsible business practices that create long-term value. We always strive to serve more people and to find new and innovative ways to help them achieve financial well-being.
As an expert in finance, what are the most valued skills for entrepreneurship in this global market?
First, perseverance, always look for a way to achieve the objectives is key in this market, if it is not plan A, it is plan B or Z, there is always a way.
Second, the ability to group with partners that complement one’s weakest areas, so that the diversity of the team will help to achieve better results and more solid objectives.
Third, focus on the customer, communities and collaborators. Today, every company (regardless of size) must be aware of the value it is delivering to all its stakeholders, this is what will differentiate it in the long term and make it sustainable.
You are a woman, a leader and you work in a field that is “masculinized”. What difficulties have you faced throughout your career?
One of the biggest difficulties has been cultural, we live in a very masculinized Latin American culture in which women themselves sometimes do not realize situations or comments that do not correspond.
Realizing my own biases in this regard and facing them I think it has been quite a journey. Getting to know ourselves, knowing what we are capable of and not letting ourselves be carried away by the classic “that’s the way things are”. There have been specific situations where I have faced people who treat you differently because you are a woman, and how you deal with those situations is where you learn to set limits. In this sense, one of the things I have developed the most is to speak from rationality and not from emotionality, which took me some years of training.
Tell me about BlackRock’s partnership with UN Women, the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment, to promote gender-sensitive investing.
This agreement was signed at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The agreement calls for BlackRock to develop strategies to mobilize capital to support economic opportunities for women. UN Women, meanwhile, will act as a knowledge partner and collaborate with data and research.
Gender-responsive investing is defined by UN Women as the intentional allocation of capital and alignment of investment strategies, processes and products to achieve positive and tangible contributions to women’s empowerment goals and has the potential to generate financial returns.
Bringing together BlackRock’s deep investment expertise in public and private markets and UN Women’s convening power and gender equality experience, the partnership aims to catalyze the growth of gender-responsive investing and inspire greater capital mobilization in companies that address women’s needs in education, financial services, childcare, healthcare and other sectors. BlackRock and UN Women are united by the conviction that investing to help improve the lives of women and girls around the world can increase their economic participation, realizing value and unlocking greater economic growth.
BlackRock, as an asset manager on behalf of its clients, will seek to invest across a broad range of asset classes, regions and investment styles. At its core is a “double-bottom-line” investment thesis that aims to drive or support positive real-world outcomes while delivering attractive, risk-adjusted returns for investors. An initial set of funds will be launched gradually over the coming quarters and will be available to a global base of investors, through institutional and wealth channels.
Going forward, BlackRock and UN Women will engage with the broader ecosystem of public and private sector organizations focused on gender equality, seek to strengthen collaboration on data and research, and continue to explore new opportunities to collaborate and promote cost-effective, market-based solutions that improve the lives of women and girls.
Andrea notes that, for the remainder of the year, they will continue to deepen their commitment to sustainable investment development: “We believe it is vital that companies and countries take responsibility for achieving net zero. After all, climate risk is an investment risk that will impact investor portfolio returns as companies navigate the physical and transitional risk associated with climate.”
She also highlights that, in 2021, sustainable investments exceeded US$4 trillion and BlackRock notes that this shift will persist over the next few years, and will become the main contributor to portfolio returns.
“At BlackRock, we continue to work on new partnerships and investments that will help our clients achieve their goals and improve their bottom line with a view to transitioning to net zero emissions,” concludes.