BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, is getting smaller

Rob Kim/Getty ImagesBlackRock CEO Larry Fink at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit in February 2017.
  • BlackRock’s assets under management fell in the fourth quarter below its record $US6 trillion mark, as institutional investors pulled nearly $US35 billion.
  • The firm missed analysts’ earnings expectations.
  • Bright spots included the exchange-traded-funds platform iShares, which saw record new money last quarter, and technology services.

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, got just a bit smaller last quarter.

The firm’s assets under management declined 5% year-over-year, to $US5.98 trillion, according to fourth-quarter earnings released Monday.

The New York-based firm missed expectations on earnings, with adjusted earnings of $US6.08 a share falling short of analysts’ predictions for $US6.23.

Here are the rest of the key numbers:

  • Revenue: $US3.43 billion, meeting expectations
  • Net income: $US927 million, down 60% year-on-year and missing expectations of $US1.1 billion
  • Adjusted earnings per share: $US6.08, compared with expectations of $US6.23
  • Assets under management: $US5.98 trillion
  • Total net flows: Inflows of $US49.8 billion

    • iShares: Net inflows of $US81.4 billion
    • Institutional: Outflows of $US34.6 billion

Overall, the firm saw $US124 billion of inflows in 2018, including records for iShares and illiquid alternative strategies. Technology service revenue, which accounts for about 6% of the firm’s revenue, increased 19% last year, on the heels of strong demand for Aladdin and digital wealth technologies, both major growth areas for the firm.

“BlackRock is well positioned to deliver the holistic portfolio solutions, technology services and strategic counsel that clients increasingly are seeking, especially in the face of meaningful headwinds for the asset management industry,” CEO Larry Fink said in an earnings statement.

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