BlackRock assets under management grow to record $9tn

BlackRock’s assets under management ballooned to a record $9tn in the first quarter, boosted by record fund inflows across its investment platform, led by fixed income.

The world’s biggest fund manager reported a 19 per cent year-on-year rise for first-quarter revenue to $4.4bn, beating a forecast $4.3bn, boosted by strong organic growth and higher performance fees.

Total net investment flows rose to a record $172bn during the first three months of the year, marking the fourth straight quarter BlackRock has attracted more than $100bn of net inflows. Long-term investment flows increased $133bn in the period, with fixed income accounting for $60.8bn and equity funds swelling by $49.8bn. 

“Flows represented 8 per cent annualised organic growth and a record 14 per cent annualised organic base fee growth,” said Laurence Fink, chief executive of BlackRock.

Net income climbed 16 per cent to $1.2bn and the company reported adjusted earnings per share of $7.77 for the first quarter. Analysts polled by Bloomberg had expected earnings per share of $7.71.

Shares in BlackRock lagged those of rivals and the S&P asset management index during the first quarter. The price rebounded from a brief drop below $700 in early March and touched an all-time high of $811.38 this week.

Ahead of the results, analysts at Morgan Stanley said that BlackRock had a “diversified scale business model, broad product set, wider distribution reach to drive organic asset growth, and expense levers to pull”. The bank increased its price target for BlackRock to $924 from $890.

BlackRock continues to lead the green investing wave with the launch this month of the largest new exchange traded fund.

“The ESG explosion in the past year has caught a lot of asset managers off-guard,” said Kyle Sanders, analyst at Edward Jones. “Many are rebranding existing funds, whereas BlackRock has over 150 ESG funds already and is the market leader in this category.”

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