The world’s biggest asset manager BlackRock saw the capital it manages fall by almost $1 trillion in the first quarter as investors pulled money out of its marquee funds amid the most damaging stock market selloff in more than a decade.
The company, a huge figure on global financial markets, reported a 23% drop in quarterly profit on Thursday, as investors preferred cash management services, while costs rose.
The company ended the first quarter with $6.47 trillion in assets under management, down from $7.43 trillion in the final quarter of 2019.
BlackRock’s operating expenses surged 43% to $3.03 billion.
The New York-based company’s net income fell to $806 million, or $5.15 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $1.05 billion, or $6.61 per share, a year earlier.
The economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic hammered global financial markets in the first quarter and soured investor appetite for riskier assets like stocks. The benchmark S&P 500 index fell 20% during the period.
IShares sustainable ETFs had a record quarter with $10 billion of net inflows, BlackRock Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink said, adding that investors once again turned to bond ETFs for “price transparency and incremental liquidity in volatile markets”