By Jessica Toonkel
Sept 9 (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc co-president and long-time executive Charles Hallac has died after a years-long struggle with colon cancer at the age of 50, the company said on Wednesday.
Hallac, who was the first employee to join BlackRock in 1988, was formerly chief operating officer and the initial architect for the firm's Aladdin risk management system, which now has 20,000 users with around $15 trillion in assets tied to it, according to the firm. He also founded the firm's BlackRock Solutions service, which provides Aladdin and other advisory services to financial institutions.
"Charlie was not only my partner for many years, but also a trusted and valued friend. He was a visionary who embodied our culture and was truly the heart and soul of BlackRock," BlackRock CEO Larry Fink wrote in the statement. "His extraordinary innovations, including our unique Aladdin platform, have been central to our success, but his most important legacy is the generation of leaders molded by Charlie's tremendous ability to lead and mentor."
Hallac became co-president in 2014, a role he shared with Robert Kapito, following a reorganization among its executive ranks.
Known for his in-depth understanding of the operational needs of the business, Hallac was in the office everyday even when he was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.
Before his diagnosis with colon cancer in 2012, Hallac was long thought to be a possible successor to Larry Fink, according to former BlackRock executives who wished to remain anonymous because they are not permitted to speak to the media.
BlackRock's reorganization in 2014 was part of an effort to groom other senior executives to be possible successors for Fink, the sources said.
Hallac is survived by his wife Sarah and three children, David, Rebecca and AJ.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Diane Craft)