BlackRock reported $3.513 trillion in assets under management as of Dec. 31, up 5% from the prior quarter but down 1.3% from the year before.
Net inflows of $23.8 billion into long-term equity, bond and alternatives strategies and market-related gains of $148.4 billion fueled the money management giant's quarter-on-quarter increase in AUM.
In a conference call Thursday to discuss BlackRock's latest results, Laurence D. Fink, the company's chairman and CEO, said risk-conscious institutional investors continued to shift to passive strategies from active ones during the latest quarter, even as they showed growing signs of interest in considering more “dynamic” allocations for the coming quarters.
BlackRock's client flows for the fourth quarter reflected that derisking, with outflows from active equity and fixed-income strategies more than offset by inflows into institutional index and ETF strategies.
For example, net equity inflows of $12.8 billion for the quarter reflected inflows of $12.2 billion and $8.8 billion for institutional index and ETF products, respectively, offset by outflows of $8.2 billion from active strategies.
Similarly, outflows of $14 billion from active fixed-income strategies were offset by inflows of $12.8 billion for institutional index bond products and $11 billion for fixed-income ETFs, for a net gain of $9.8 billion.
The company's multiasset-class strategies, meanwhile, had net inflows of $4.1 billion, while its active alternatives strategies saw net outflows of $1.6 billion. Currency and commodities combined had net outflows of $1.3 billion.
BlackRock's cash management business had net inflows of $10.9 billion while its advisory business, or long-term portfolio liquidation assignments on behalf of the U.S. government, saw redemptions of $10.1 billion.
On the conference call, Mr. Fink noted that while a number of financial conglomerates are looking to divest their money management affiliates now, BlackRock isn't in the market to purchase any large platforms. Instead, BlackRock is actively in the market for “fill-in” acquisitions, either to add specific products or country-specific capabilities, he said.
Net income for the latest quarter came to $555 million, down 6.7% from the prior quarter and off 16% from the year before.
Revenues, meanwhile, came to $2.2 billion, little changed from the prior quarter but off 11% from the year before.