BlackRock Inc.'s assets under management hit a new high — $9.01 trillion — in the quarter ended March 31, another milestone in the long growth trajectory of the world's largest money manager.
Earnings data released April 15 showed that BlackRock's AUM rose 3.8% in the first quarter.
The New York-based firm not only recovered from a 12.9% decline in AUM to $6.47 trillion in the first quarter of 2020, caused by the early impact of the outbreak of COVID-19 on markets, its assets rose 39.3% for the year ended March 31.
"Like other money managers, BlackRock's strong earnings results in the first quarter 2021 reflect the tailwind after last year's COVID fallout with a growth in AUM of 39% over the year ended March 31," said Catherine Seifert, vice president and equity analyst, CFRA Research Inc., New York, in an interview.
BlackRock's AUM totaled $7.43 trillion in the fourth quarter 2019 prior to the coronavirus outbreak.
BlackRock executives were upbeat during their April 15 earnings call with analysts.
Laurence D. "Larry" Fink, chairman and CEO, told analysts on the call that the firm's net inflows for the three-month period were "very diverse," coming from many strategies.
Gary S. Shedlin, senior managing director and BlackRock's chief financial officer, noted on the call that the total net investment inflow of $171.6 billion in the first quarter was a new high for a three-month period and was the fourth consecutive quarter of net inflows of more than $100 billion.
Mr. Shedlin also cited the resilience of Aladdin, the firm's portfolio management technology tool, as "a key differentiator throughout the COVID crisis," that he and Mr. Fink see, "making it central to constructing sustainable portfolios of the future," according to a transcript of the earnings call.
Mr. Shedlin said first-quarter net inflows included $133 billion into long-term assets, reflecting "the strength of our broad-based franchise with positive flows across every asset class, investment style, client channels and region."
In contrast, the firm's total net inflow in the quarter ended Dec. 31 was $126.9 billion and $35 billion in the first quarter 2020.
BlackRock's net inflows in the quarter ended March 31 were led by its iShares exchange-traded fund unit at $68.5 billion, (prior quarter, $78.8 billion); cash management, $39.2 billion ($8.9 billion); retail investors, a new record high of $36.5 billion ($35.3 billion); and institutional, $27.6 billion ($2.1 billion). Net outflows from BlackRock's advisory/other business were $187 million in the quarter ended March 31, compared with $1.8 billion in the prior quarter.
BlackRock's revenue in the quarter ended March 31 was $4.4 billion, down 1.8% from the prior quarter but up 18.5% from the same quarter a year earlier.