The investment giant BlackRock finished the year with a bang. Indeed, its latest financial results up to December 31 2017, published today, showed strong performance across the board.
The firm reported an impressive total net inflow of $367 billion, the strongest in its history, of which $103 billion were recorded in the last quarter of last year. “BlackRock’s record 2017 results reflect the long-term investments we’ve consistently made in our business to better serve clients,” said Laurence D. Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock.
Fink added: “Full year net inflows represented 7% organic asset growth and were positive across client types, asset classes, major regions and investment styles.” According to him, the growth of clients was driven by the company’s ability to offer “scaled investment strategies, industry-leading risk management and portfolio construction technology and thought leadership”.
Moreover, BlackRock has been expanding its reach to emerging and fast-growing countries. For instance, earlier this month it obtained a private fund management registration to manufacture and distribute onshore investment products in China.
Cash dividends rise
Following the upbeat outcomes of 2017, BlackRock’s Board of Directors also approved a 15% increase in the quarterly cash dividend to $2.88 per share, payable March 22, 2018, to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 7, 2018.
On the ETF side, iShares earned the top place in terms of market share both in the US and in Europe. The funds generated $245 billion of full-year net inflows, as this asset class is attracting an ever more diverse group of investors, from institutional to retail clients. Fink commented: “Investors are using both equity and fixed income ETFs in their portfolios for Core and precision exposures and as financial instruments.”
“In alpha-seeking strategies, we are leveraging the powerful combination of human investment expertise and sophisticated data analytics. Performance across our alpha-seeking strategies remains strong and drove $24 billion of net inflows in 2017.”
Tech and Risk Management
Technology and risk management services also did well in terms of revenue, as they increased by 14% over the year. This result was mainly driven by the addition of new distribution partners such as Aladdin Risk for Wealth Management, Cachematrix, iCapital and Scalable Capital.
“Throughout BlackRock’s 30-year history, we have been driven by a fiduciary commitment to our clients, a culture of innovation, a passion for performance and a workplace that embraces diversity and inclusion,” Fink stated in the press release. “We are fortunate to have dedicated employees who share our vision of creating better financial futures for clients. We enter 2018 well positioned to continue investing for future growth, developing our talent and delivering differentiated value for clients and shareholders alike.”