BlackRock today reported $1.357 trillion in fourth-quarter assets under management, 4.4% higher than the previous quarter and up 20.6% for the year. The gains came largely from new business, which totaled $30.7 billion in the fourth quarter and $137.6 billion for the year.
BlackRock reported a 58% quarterly increase in alternative investment assets propelled by the $21.9 billion that came from closing the acquisition of Quellos fund-of-funds business. Also, cash management assets increased by 8%, fixed-income assets rose 1%, and equity and balanced strategies were up 1%. For the year, BlackRocks alternatives assets were up 48%, cash management was up 33%, fixed-income assets were up 15%, and equity and balanced assets gained 17%.
Alternatives still only represent 5% of the firms total assets. Chairman and CEO Laurence Fink said in a conference call that he wanted alternatives to eventually make up 7% to 10% of the firms total assets. BlackRock executives also noted that market conditions have increased demand for risk management strategies such as those offered by BlackRock Solutions.
Also, during Merrill Lynchs earnings conference call today, Merrill Chairman and CEO John Thain said the firm would not sell its 49% interest in BlackRock.
Separately, Bank of New York Mellon reported $1.121 trillion in assets under management for the fourth quarter, up 1%, from Sept. 30 and 12% higher than a year earlier. Net money market inflows totaled $39 billion, a record for any quarter, which offset $11 billion in outflows from subsidiary Boston Co. Asset Management that resulted from the departure of an international equity management team in August.
While assets increased for the firms asset management division, net income for the entire firm totaled $520 million in the fourth quarter, down 30% from the prior quarter, because of a one-time $180 million charge associated with restructuring and consolidation of Three Rivers Funding, an asset-backed commercial paper unit, a release from the firm stated.