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How do you track trillions of dollars in indices and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) accurately and precisely?

That is one part of the financial engineering challenges facing BlackRock Senior Managing Director Salim Ramji, Head of iShares Index and ETFs. His division manages more than $4 trillion of Blackrock’s $7 plus trillion in assets. He also a member of the firm’s global executive committee.

Ramji recalls how as a senior partner at McKinsey & Company leading the asset and wealth management practice, he turned down Larry Fink for the job at BlackRock. This led to an amusing anecdote about the back and forth that soon followed that “ idiotic” decision. Not too long after, he reversed that decision, and joined as global head of corporate strategy, before running BlackRock’s U.S. wealth advisory business.

We also discuss fee wars, the rise of ETFs, ESG, Factor investing, active ETFs, and why a Bitcoin ETF is unlikely to occur anytime soon, at least at BlackRock.

A list of his favorite books are here; A transcript of our conversation is available here.

You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunesSpotifyOvercastGoogleBloomberg, and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Morgan Housel, former writer for Motley Fool and WSJ, and partner at Collaborative Funds. His new book, The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness, will be out September 8th.

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