BlackRock iShares Pulled in $67.2 Bln in Q1 Flows

iShares assets hit $3.75 trillion as the firm's new spot bitcoin ETF became the world's largest of its kind.

Wealth Management Editor
Reviewed by: Staff
Edited by: Ron Day

BlackRock Inc.'s iShares unit, the world's biggest exchange-traded fund issuer, pulled in $67.2 billion in assets globally during the first quarter as stock markets jumped and the company launched a spot bitcoin ETF that quickly became the world's largest of its type.

Fresh first quarter inflows and $190.2 billion in market gains brought global ETF assets at the world’s largest asset manager to $3.75 trillion, according to the New York company's earnings report. That's a 22% gain from last year's first quarter, when the company reported $3.07 trillion in ETF assets. Year-over-year, BlackRock has pulled in $231.5 billion, and market gains boosted AUM by $444.3 billion.

Results from the New York-based company, with $10.5 trillion in total assets under management, showed the ETF business as the strongest growth engine during the quarter. Inflows surged as the company launched the iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT), which grew to become the world's largest spot bitcoin ETF, pulling in $13.9 billion during the quarter, according to data. The S&P 500's 11% first quarter gain also boosted assets and brought in fresh cash from investors seeking to capitalize on surging tech stocks and commodities.

“The depth and breadth of the iShares ETF franchise continues to be an advantage for BlackRock,” said Cathy Seifert, an asset management analyst at CFRA in New York, adding that inflows are a key differentiator for the asset management behemoth.

“BlackRock is doing a number of things strategically to widen the moat in the ETF space,” Seifert said. “I expect them to pursue bolt-on acquisitions to increase their presence in the alternatives marketplace.”

BlackRock's iShares Growth

Core equity strategies accounted for $36.7 billion worth of the inflows during the quarter, while fixed income ETF flows topped $18.2 billion, and alternative strategy ETFs took in $12.7 billion.

BlackRock’s multi-asset category ETFs suffered $445 million worth of net outflows during the quarter.

Overall, BlackRock’s total assets increased by $1.4 trillion on a year-over-year basis, and per-share earnings increased by 24% to $9.81, compared to analysts’ consensus estimates of $9.39 per share.

“We see significant growth potential in infrastructure, technology, retirement and whole portfolio solutions, with a strong pipeline that has some of the best breadth that we’ve ever seen,” BlackRock chairman and chief executive Larry Fink said in a prepared statement.

BlackRock stock was down more than 1.6% in midday trading Friday in line with the broader equity markets that were still reacting to Wednesday’s higher-than-expected inflation data.

So far this year, BlackRock shares are down 3.4%, which compares to an 8.5% gain by the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY).

Jeff Benjamin is the wealth management editor at, responsible for coverage related to the financial planning industry. This includes writing, hosting podcasts, webinars, video interviews and presenting at in-person events.

Jeff is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years’ experience covering the financial markets. He has won more than two dozen national and regional awards for his reporting. He most recently worked as a senior columnist at InvestmentNews where he wrote about investment products and strategies, as well as the broader financial planning industry. Prior to that, Jeff worked as an analyst at Cerulli Associates where he researched and wrote reports on the alternative investments industry. Jeff also worked as a money management reporter at Dow Jones Newswires, where he covered the mutual fund industry.

Based in North Carolina, Jeff is a former Marine and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Central Michigan University.