Low Fees and Good Earnings Spell An Excellent Day—and Quarter—for BlackRock

BlackRock is the largest asset management firm in the world and, on Monday, the agency reported that its second-quarter earnings had risen nearly 10 percent with investors continuing to fund the company’s expanding selection of exchange traded funds (ETFs).

You should know that the company oversees $5.7 trillion in assets and received $94 billion in net investor money during the second qua. rter. $74 billion of this specifically flowed through the company’s iShares-branded exchange traded funds. Currently, BlackRock now manages $1.5 trillion in exchange traded funds and passive investment vehicles which can track several types of indexes and investment strategies.

Unfortunately, these second-quarter results did not impress Wall Street investors on Monday. And this is despite the attractive trait of frantically falling fees—near zero—on some products while competitors—like Charles Schwab Corb and Vanguard Group—are offering the same ETF products at or near the cost of fund management.

BlackRock chief executive Laurence D. Fink comments, “This was one of our best quarters ever. We had strong flow, our fees are up we are continuing to build deeper and broader relations with our clients.”

Explaining how the money rushed into ETFs, Fink emphasized that now the focus of financial firms must be to provide more solutions-driven advice instead of just merely push clients towards specific funds.

He goes on to say, “Clients are looking for outcomes—they are not looking for products anymore,” adding, “The price-to-earnings multiples are very high. We will need to see validation in earnings, and I hope we see progress on tax reform and infrastructure, too.”

Fink is also saying that technology and risk management fees rose 12 percent to $164 million. “All the drivers that we really control that can grow quarter over quarter over quarter—the momentum is accelerating, not decelerating.”

He adds, “When you think about where we’re taking the firm we’re very happy.”

Currently, assets under management increased 16 percent—to roughly $5.7 trillion—though revenue grew only 6 percent—to $2.97 billion—with earnings per share rising 10 percent ($5.24) after making adjustments from non-recurring items and other such charges.

As such, BlackRock’s net income increased by 8.6 percent to $857 million.

Leave a Reply