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Alternative Market Briefing

BlackRock’s Fink remains bullish despite losses in Q4-2011

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: Despite a 16% loss in net income from the previous year, BlackRock’s CEO Laurence D. Fink remains bullish for 2012. The world’s largest asset manager's net income fell $555m in Q4-2011, or $3.05 a share, from $657m, or $3.35, a year earlier (and down 7% from Q3-2011).

The company also cut just over 3% of its workforce over the quarter.

Full year diluted EPS is at $12.37, up 17% from 2010.

The company's advisory fees also fell 4.5% to $1.86bn due to market volatility and low interest rates.

Fink noted on a recent conference call that BlackRock’s expansion into exchange-traded funds (ETFs), multi-asset strategies and hedge fund-like mutual funds had helped the company meet analysts’ expectations despite decreased income and fees.

Overall assets under management fell 1.3% from last year to just over $3.513tln. Results reflected strong inflows of $23.8bn in long-term products (equity, fixed income, multi-asset class and alternative investments) and a $143.3bn improvement in market and investment performance.

In a conference call with analysts and investors, Fink noted that he expects market conditions to remain volatile, citing uncertainty in Europe, the US election and persistent US deficits. He also explained that while investors had fled stocks more recently, global de-risking had improved balance sheets making him more bullish overall.

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