During $3.35tln US-based asset manager BlackRock's fourth quarter earnings call with analysts and investors on Wednesday, CEO Laurence D. Fink expressed a bullish outlook on asset growth in alternatives. "Clients are putting large sums of money back into hedge funds," he said.
The firm's BlackRock Alternative Advisors fund of funds attracted net inflows of $0.9bn during the last quarter of the 2009, after suffering heavy outflows early in the year. Within the firm's hedge funds group, fundamental strategies received $1.5bn in net inflows, which was offset by a loss of $2bn in the firms quant funds. The firm reported that a number of hedge funds reached or surpassed their high water marks due to strong performance and hedge funds helped bring the firm's performance fees up to $125m ($102m increase year over year).
As the largest asset manager in the world, after its recent acquisition of Barclays Global Investors, activity within BlackRock's investor base may be evidence of larger investor trends within the financial industry. Fink says that BlackRock investors (both institutional and retail) are approaching the construction of their portfolios from a "barbell" perspective, looking to both alpha- and beta-driven products to help them outperform benchmarks.
Investors are moving large asset amounts into ETFs and indexes (of the firms $43bn in "new organic growth" $29bn entered ......................