By Andrew Ackerman
WASHINGTON -- Larry Fink has high praise for Donald Trump.
The chief executive of BlackRock Inc., the world's largest asset manager, said Mr. Trump is listening to business leaders as he assembles a strategy to boost U.S. hiring and economic growth.
"He is embracing business," said Mr. Fink, a longtime Democrat, at a dinner Wednesday hosted by the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. "I do strongly believe he is listening."
Mr. Fink's remarks came a day after he and other CEOs met with Mr. Trump at the White House. The business leaders, tasked with advising the Trump administration on how government policy affects the economy, met for the second time since February.
Mr. Fink stopped short of discussing any specifics of his White House meetings but said they were "very constructive" and "I don't believe I'm wasting my time being there."
"I'm there with the idea that if I can be helpful, then I'm serving my country," he said.
Mr. Fink has a long relationship with Mr. Trump, helping to manage some of his money before the New York businessman entered the White House. But Mr. Fink said he never imagined Mr. Trump would become president and was surprised he won the election in November.
"In every meeting we had, he talked about doing more," Mr. Fink said. "I didn't think 'doing more' meant [being] the president."
Turning to the economy, Mr. Fink struck a pessimistic tone, describing the U.S. economy as "probably the slowest growing of G-7 countries."
"I think there's way too much enthusiasm about the U.S. economy," he said. "It may translate into a much stronger economy, but we'll have to wait and see if the policies that the Trump administration has advocated for...become effective."
Write to Andrew Ackerman at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 12, 2017 22:34 ET (02:34 GMT)Copyright (c) 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.