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Advice / Career Paths / Career Stories

Here's Why This Vice President at BlackRock Never Stops Investing in Herself

Narinder Dalal, a VP at BlackRock
Narinder Dalal, a vice president at BlackRock.
| Courtesy of Narinder Dalal

There’s no one right path to success, but if an equation existed to reflect Narinder Dalal’s career, it would be transferable skills + clear goals + a supportive management team = abundant growth and leadership opportunities.

­Dalal found a fit for this formula at BlackRock, one of the world’s leading investments, advisory, and financial technology providers—where internal mobility is greatly valued. With a background in finance and a clear goal of being in a client-facing role that has a strategic impact on the business, she’s skyrocketed to success. 

“I have a wealth of experience in financial services, and it was great to be able to leverage my previous background to make the next step in my career progression at BlackRock,” Dalal says.

Her talents and abilities have always made her stand out, but with a supportive manager and senior leadership team dedicated to her career growth, Dalal has been an unstoppable force in her role as the head of the Investment Accounting Service Delivery team for BlackRock Aladdin.

Here, Dalal talks about her career path and considerable growth at BlackRock, the challenges of being a woman in the finance industry and a leader on her team, and how she continues to prioritize being a “student.”

What are you responsible for in your role?

I lead our Investment Accounting Service Delivery team to deliver operational service and improve the client experience for Aladdin Accounting clients. Aladdin is BlackRock’s investment management technology that is both used internally and delivered externally to other financial institutions. We act as a liaison between the Aladdin business, the accounting operations teams, and Aladdin Accounting clients. My role has a direct impact on current and future relationships with our clients.

Tell us about your career path prior to BlackRock. What inspired you to pursue a career in finance?

Before BlackRock, I worked at other financial services firms providing strategic oversight of financial reporting, investor servicing, and internal controls for private equity, alternatives, real estate, and other investment types. I pursued a career in finance and accounting because of my strength in understanding complex investments and breaking down the problem to drive to a solution.

What’s the greatest challenge you have faced as a leader, and what has helped you succeed?

The hardest part about being a woman in leadership has been learning to get over the “imposter syndrome,” which so many women in leadership struggle with. Trusting my instincts and depending on my own wealth of experience has helped me. I have a proven track record of delivering results, and sometimes, I need to remind myself of that. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for leaders; your unique background and experiences are what add value. I’ve learned that the answer to fixing imposter syndrome isn’t to fix the individual, but to work within firms such as BlackRock to champion an environment that fosters a variety of leadership styles.

How do you continue learning and developing while also keeping up with the demands of your job?

At BlackRock, we aspire to always be “students of the market.” I love the growth mindset and the firm offers a lot of opportunities for learning and development, which have helped me to better myself. For example, I make it a priority to join networking sessions, fireside chats, and other leadership programs offered here. Being clear about my purpose and tying it back to the business and the firm motivates me to stay passionate about making an impact. Having the right mentors and sponsors has also been instrumental in my development.

On weekends, I catch up on the latest news and industry updates; listening to podcasts on my way to and from work has added so much to my growth. Did you know BlackRock has its own podcast? I also take classes to learn more about the latest in financial services, from building diverse teams to servicing clients.

Your team continues to support an increasing global footprint. What do you attribute your success to?

The growth of our team can be attributed to our people and technology—we work very hard to ensure our clients receive the top-level BlackRock experience. The theme this year for our team has been preparing for that growth. A growing business drives huge opportunities for personal and professional development; we have a whole global team pushing each other to be better each day, and it’s rare to have such a client-driven focus. My team’s top priority is client satisfaction and scale through standardized processes and support for Aladdin Accounting clients.

You’re also continuing to shape your team to support this growth. How will this add value to the team and shape the future of the business?

We are indeed hiring qualified professionals to support our growth. It all goes back to the client experience—ensuring every single client feels supported and that we deliver on expectations. Within our hiring plan, we are seeking a broad range of candidates who can add value and impact to the team and continue to help us challenge ourselves to improve our client delivery. With all the hiring and resources in place, we are confident we will have the teams and processes we need to continue to deliver operational excellence to our clients.