Museum of American Finance to Honor Laurence D. Fink and Dr. Janet Yellen at 2019 Gala

Issued January 2, 2019

Museum of American Finance to Honor Laurence D. Fink and Dr. Janet Yellen at 2019 Gala

New York, NY – The Museum of American Finance will honor the achievements of two financial leaders in both the public and private sectors at its annual gala on February 5, 2019 at Cipriani Wall Street.

Laurence D. Fink, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BlackRock, Inc., will receive the Charles Schwab Financial Innovation Award. Mr. Fink and seven partners founded BlackRock in 1988, and under his leadership, the firm has grown into a global leader in investment and technology solutions. Today, the company is entrusted to manage $6.4 trillion[1] to help investors build better financial futures. Mr. Fink has been named one of the "World's Greatest Leaders" by Fortune, and Barron’s has named him one of the "World's Best CEOs" for 12 consecutive years. The Charles Schwab Financial Innovation Award, inaugurated at the Museum’s 2016 Gala, recognizes individuals who have introduced new markets or new instruments to our financial system. The award is named after Charles Schwab, Founder and Chairman of The Charles Schwab Corporation, who is often credited with “democratizing” investment.

The Whitehead Award for Distinguished Public Service and Financial Leadership will recognize the significant contributions of Dr. Janet L. Yellen, former Chair of the Federal Reserve Board and Distinguished Fellow in Residence with the Economic Studies Program at The Brookings Institution. Prior to her appointment as Federal Reserve Board Chair, Dr. Yellen served as Vice Chair of the Board of Governors, taking office in October 2010. She is a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has served as President of the Western Economic Association, Vice President of the American Economic Association and a Fellow of the Yale Corporation. Named after the late John C. Whitehead, former Deputy Secretary of State and Co-Chair of Goldman Sachs, the Whitehead Award recognizes leaders who have demonstrated great achievement in the field of finance and have also served with distinction in the public sphere.

“I am so pleased that two iconic figures of finance will receive our prestigious awards,” said David Cowen, President and CEO of the Museum of American Finance. “Mr. Fink is a phenomenal example of financial leadership and the entrepreneurial spirit. His 2018 letter to CEOs champions a new model for corporate governance and calls for companies to serve a greater social purpose. He is, therefore, an exceptional choice for the Charles Schwab Award. Dr. Yellen is a trailblazer as the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Her tenure was demanding as the nation recovered from the Great Recession, and her leadership was exemplary. She is, therefore, is a perfect choice for the Whitehead Award.”

For more information on the Museum’s 2019 Gala, please visit

About the Museum of American Finance
The Museum of American Finance, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is the nation’s only independent museum dedicated to preserving, exhibiting and teaching about American finance and financial history. With its extensive collection of financial documents and objects, its seminars and educational programming, its publication and oral history program, the Museum portrays the breadth and richness of American financial history, achievement and practices. For more information, visit or connect with the Museum on Facebook or Twitter.

Media Contact: 
Kristin Aguilera, Deputy Director 
Museum of American Finance 

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[1] AUM is $6.44T as of 09/30/18