Published February 19, 2023

3 minute read

The Long View: Lessons from Investment Leaders

A conversation with Larry Fink and H.E. Khaldoon Al Mubarak on the principles that will reshape global investment over the next decade

Session Speakers: 

H.E. Khaldoon Al Mubarak

H.E. Khaldoon Al Mubarak

Managing Director & Group CEO, Mubadala

Laurence Fink

Laurence Fink

Chairman and CEO, Blackrock


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Key Takeaways

  • Both speakers emphasized the importance of taking a long-term view and focusing on sustainable returns when making investments.
  • Mubadala, as a sovereign fund, has found success in identifying investment themes and investing in them with conviction over the long term.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and recent events like the Ukraine-Russia conflict are leading companies to reevaluate their supply chains and dependencies, which will lead to changes in globalization and create opportunities for investment.
  • The speakers both agreed that globalization is evolving and changing, with short-term risks like inflation and supply chain disruptions, but the long-term benefits of cooperation and interdependence are still present.
  • Balancing investment in the oil and gas sector with investment in renewables is key for managing the energy transition in the best possible way.
  • The short-term risk of high inflation is a concern for the next few years, but the speakers both expressed confidence in the resilience of the global economy and the ability to mitigate these risks without going into recession.

The Investopia 2022 Inaugural summit brought together some of the world’s most respected investment leaders to share their insights and lessons learned. One of the most illuminating sessions was “The Long View: Lessons from Investment Leaders,” featuring Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, and Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Managing Director and Group CEO of Mubadala, one of the world’s leading sovereign wealth funds. Moderated by John Defterios, Senior Advisor at APCO Worldwide and Professor of Business at NYU Abu Dhabi, the conversation covered a wide range of topics, from the impact of the pandemic on globalization to the potential adoption of cryptocurrency by China and Russia.

As a long-term investor, Khaldoon Al Mubarak stressed the importance of sustainable returns and thematic investing. He cited the example of Mubadala’s decision to invest in the semiconductor sector long before it became fashionable, based on a conviction that it would be a growth area. Despite the ups and downs of the industry, Mubadala’s long-term view has been borne out. Al Mubarak also emphasized the importance of having a well-organized and adaptable organization that can pivot when needed, particularly in challenging times.

Laurence Fink, meanwhile, spoke about the changing nature of globalization. He argued that the current situation, particularly the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, has highlighted the risks of interdependence and the need for redundancy in supply chains. Fink believes that the trend towards offshoring and onshoring will accelerate in the coming years, leading to a new era of globalization with its own opportunities and challenges. However, Fink also acknowledged that the transition would be difficult for democracies, particularly given the current inflationary environment. Nevertheless, he expressed confidence that the world can mitigate inflation risks and avoid a recession.

When asked about the potential adoption of cryptocurrency by China and Russia, Fink focused on the social need for a digital currency to lower the cost of cross-border transfers. He predicted that stable currencies would eventually become the norm, with existing currencies digitized through central banks. Fink believes this transition will elevate countries and reduce the black market share of the economy. He also argued that the situation in Ukraine and Russia and the US dollar sanctions would accelerate the conversation around digital currencies.

Throughout the discussion, Al Mubarak and Fink stressed the importance of balancing short-term needs with long-term planning. Al Mubarak argued that Mubadala’s strategy of investing in both the renewables and oil and gas sectors is a prime example of this. He emphasized the need to manage the energy supply in the short and medium term while investing in a mix of both sectors to manage the transition. Fink echoed this sentiment, stating that the world needs to find new food sources and invest in new technologies while building new supply chains and mitigating demand.

The session concluded by discussing the most significant global risks in the coming years and how to avoid them. Fink identified high inflation as the most considerable short-term risk, particularly given the challenges of confronting inflation when it is supply-shocked. He argued that central banks must be more moderate regarding interest rate increases, as raising rates too high could lead to a recession. However, Fink expressed confidence that the world can mitigate inflation risks and avoid a recession, noting that “we have a robust world that can mitigate all of this.”

In summary, the session provided valuable insights into the changing nature of globalization, the potential adoption of digital currencies, and the need to balance short-term needs with long-term planning. Al Mubarak and Fink stressed the importance of having a clear strategy and investing in thematic areas.

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