(Reuters) – The world’s biggest asset manager, BlackRock Inc, 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”.
Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru and Saqib Ahmed in New York; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta.