BlackRock (Assets Under Management $7.4 Trillion) CEO: Bitcoin Has Caught Our Attention
Larry Fink believes Bitcoin may evolve into a global market. BlackRock (Assets Under Management $7.4 Trillion) CEO: Bitcoin Has Caught Our Attention
Blackrock CEO Larry Fink says Bitcoin (BTC) is on his company’s radar following the cryptocurrency’s rapid appreciation over the past few months.
Speaking Tuesday at the Council on Foreign Relations alongside former Bank of England governor Mark Carney, Fink reportedly said:
“Bitcoin has caught the attention and the imagination of many people. Still untested, pretty small relative to other markets.”
He Then Added:
“Can it evolve into a global market? Possibly.”
Fink isn’t the only BlackRock executive touting Bitcoin’s potential value. Last month, the company’s chief investment officer, Rick Rieder, told CNBC that not only is Bitcoin “here to stay” but that it will “take the place of gold to a large extent.”
Previously, comments like these would have been considered highly irregular coming from institutional brass, not to mention the world’s largest asset manager with assets under management north of $7.4 trillion as of 2019.
But the public’s perception of Bitcoin has changed dramatically over the past year. Record inflows into Grayscale products, the growth of Bitcoin corporate treasuries, and Guggenheim’s Securities and Exchange Commission amendment to gain exposure to BTC represent a seismic shift in institutional adoption.
Beyond these moves, investment legends Paul Tudor Jones and Stanley Druckenmiller are also backing Bitcoin.
Institutional demand for Bitcoin has created an alarming shortage in the market, with the likes of PayPal and Cash App scooping up most, if not all, newly mined BTC. PayPal alone is buying up almost 70% of the new supply, according to Pantera Capital.
Currently, only 900 BTC is mined each day. With demand increasing following the deflationary May halving, prices are likely to continue higher. Even Citibank has predicted a comparatively astronomical Bitcoin price by the end of 2021.
Although BlackRock doesn’t outright own Bitcoin, it has indirect exposure to the asset through MicroStrategy, a business intelligence firm that converted its balance sheet to BTC. BlackRock is the largest MicroStrategy investor with a 15.2% stake in the company.
BlackRock Seeks VP Blockchain Lead To ‘Drive Demand’ For Firm’s Crypto Offerings
The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, is seeking to hire a vice president to help build and execute strategies and “drive demand” for the company’s crypto and crypto-related offerings.
* BlackRock, which has $6.84 trillion assets under management, has posted a job vacancy for a New York-based VP of blockchain to help with the valuation of crypto assets.
* According to the post, the applicant must have at least a year’s experience in the technological foundations of blockchain technology including cryptographic hash functions, distributed network consensus mechanisms, and public-private key cryptography.
* Candidates should be able to “devise and articulate fundamental valuation methodologies for crypto-assets; evaluate game theory and decentralizing governance models associated with blockchain technology,” said the listing.
* BlackRock CEO Larry Fink recently made some bullish comments on bitcoin (BTC, +1.15%), stating it has “caught the attention” of many people and that the nascent cryptocurrency asset class can possibly “evolve” into a global market asset.
BlackRock Files To Add Bitcoin Futures To Two Of Its Funds
BlackRock Inc. is adding cash-settled Bitcoin futures as an eligible investment to two funds, according to regulatory filings.
The world’s largest asset manager filed updated prospectuses for two funds on Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that included cash-settled Bitcoin futures among the assets they can buy.
The funds where the exposure could be added are BlackRock Strategic Income Opportunities and BlackRock Global Allocation Fund Inc.
A BlackRock spokesperson declined to comment beyond the filing.
Blackrock CEO Calls Bitcoin An Untested Asset In A ‘Very Small Market’
Larry Fink said he was fascinated with the media hype surrounding Bitcoin but expressed concerns about the crypto asset’s volatility and market size.
Just one week after asset manager Blackrock appeared to be preparing to invest in Bitcoin futures, CEO Larry Fink has some mixed messages on crypto.
In an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, Fink referred to Bitcoin (BTC) as a volatile asset within “a very small market.” The CEO’s remarks continued, with fascination over the media coverage of Bitcoin, given that the “asset category is so small compared to other asset categories.”
“[Bitcoin] could be another store of wealth, but right now it’s still untested,” said Fink. “It has huge volatility, moving in 5-6% increments with small dollar investments moving it.”
“It has not been proven yet on the long-term viability of it. Some form of a digitized currency is going to play a bigger role in the future, and it may be Bitcoin. It may be something else that has developed.”
Other executives at the investment manager have made seemingly more bullish remarks. In November 2020, Blackrock chief investment officer Rick Rieder said “Bitcoin is here to stay” and the crypto asset would likely “take the place of gold to a large extent.”
BlackRock has indirect exposure to Bitcoin through its ownership stake in business intelligence firm MicroStrategy. The company made an initial $425 million investment in the crypto asset in summer 2020 and has since added thousands more BTC to its holdings.
However, Blackrock may be exploring the possibility of getting more directly involved in the crypto space. Last Wednesday, a pair of prospectus filings for two of Blackrock’s funds appeared on the website for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Both mentioned potentially using Bitcoin derivatives and other assets as part of its investment scheme, but neither was definitive about the investment firm’s entry into the Bitcoin futures market.
At the time of publication, the price of Bitcoin is $30,734, having fallen 4% in the last 24 hours.
BlackRock’s Entry Reflects A Change In Institutional Outlook On Crypto
The entry of the world’s largest asset manager into the realm of crypto finance could potentially signal the entry of other big-name players.
On Jan. 20, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with over $8.7 trillion assets under management, appeared to have given the green light to two of its associated funds, BlackRock Global Allocation Fund Inc. and BlackRock Funds, to invest in Bitcoin futures.
In this regard, the prospectus documents filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission suggest that BlackRock is looking to dabble in Bitcoin (BTC), especially as the first ever cryptocurrency has been added to the company’s lists of derivative products cleared for use.
Furthermore, over the last few months, the company’s executive brass had spoken positively about Bitcoin, alluding to the fact that in the near future, a number of institutions may look toward digital assets to expand their list of financial offerings.
For example, in an interview last November, Rick Rieder, chief investment officer of BlackRock, said that Bitcoin has the potential to “take the place of gold to a large extent.” A somewhat similar sentiment was echoed by the company’s CEO, Larry Fink, who told the media that Bitcoin has caught the attention of the masses and has the potential to possibly evolve into a global market of its own.
Lastly, it’s also worth remembering that exactly one month ago, BlackRock posted a job advert seeking a qualified individual for the role of vice president, blockchain lead for its New York office. According to the post, the role required applicants to be able to devise and set in motion various strategies that can help “drive demand for the firm’s investments and technology offerings.”
What Does Blackrock’s Entry Mean For The Market?
BlackRock investing in Bitcoin futures is a significant step forward for the global crypto ecosystem, as it brings tremendous credibility to Bitcoin as a new asset class. Jason Lau, chief operating officer of cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin, told Cointelegraph that this move will set the stage for other asset managers to follow since most traditional asset managers are typically “consensus followers,” adding:
“With BlackRock’s announcement, other asset managers are going to be able to point to BlackRock’s work in convincing their investment committees and the client investment boards about the potential and maturity of BTC and the crypto ecosystem.”
Currently, CME futures and investments trust shares issued by Grayscale and Bitwise are two of the primary vehicles for institutions to get involved with crypto. However, due to this severe limitation, there have been large premiums from trusts versus the underlying price of BTC. For example, Lau stated that during the recent BTC price appreciation in December, Grayscale had a 40% premium on Bitcoin’s underlying value.
Kyle Samani, a managing partner at Multicoin Capital — a thesis-driven investment firm — told Cointelegraph that BlackRock’s entry is a big step forward for the entire industry. He believes that by enabling some of its funds to go long on BTC, it will allow more investors to join the space.
Is Blackrock Late To The Party?
While some are rejoicing at the news of BlackRock making its way into the crypto market, Maksim Balashevich, founder and CEO of Santiment — a market intelligence platform for cryptocurrencies — told Cointelegraph that from a purely “behavior analyses” standpoint, it’s not just the big headlines that should be considered.
Instead, the reaction of the masses, which, more often than not, is the single most crucial factor that determines market price action, could be more decisive. He added: “BlackRock’s entry is no special event but just yet another ‘latecomer’ from ‘big money’ funds. The move won’t have any implications except further professionalizing, increasing the liquidity of the market.”
When asked about the impact BlackRock’s entry may have on Bitcoin’s potential value stabilization, Balashevich pointed out that despite these “big moves,” crypto volatility is here to stay and that many more ups and downs will happen in the coming months. “Players like BlackRock are sharks playing against each other,” he said.
Lastly, on the subject of whether the point of saturation in terms of institutional entry into this space is getting closer, he believes that the industry is indeed “getting very close to the top” and that “there aren’t too many big players left to enter the market.”
Could An SEC-Approved Bitcoin ETF Be On The Horizon?
Historically, the SEC has rejected a number of ETF proposals — such as those submitted by Phoenix Wilshire, Gemini, etc. — sighting price manipulation, lack of liquidity and price indexing sources as key concerns. However, with BlackRock making inroads into this space, it seems as though the stage may finally be set for an ETF being approved sometime in 2021, as Lau pointed out:
“An increasing number of large reputable financial firms a la BlackRock, Guggenheim, SkyBridge, etc. are entering the crypto space and lending their sign of approval. This may give the regulatory body more confidence in the maturation of the crypto market and the need for an ETF to give further access to crypto.”
He pointed out that it will be extremely interesting to see if BlackRock’s ETF business, iShares, decides to become the first major mover to recognize this fast-opening window of opportunity and file for an ETF itself. Recently, investment management firm VanEck has once again submitted an application with the SEC to create a new Bitcoin ETF. This move was followed by another similar application submitted by Valkyrie Investments. So the ETF race is back on following a brief period of calm.
Also, with Bitcoin recently scaling past the $42,000 threshold, it appears as though a number of Wall Street institutions are quickly warming up to the crypto industry, as is highlighted by the fact that MassMutual recently became the latest big-name player from the realm of traditional finance to acquire $100+ million worth of BTC.
Not only that, a number of high-profile investors such as Paul Tudor Jones and Stanley Druckenmiller have cozied up to this relatively new asset class in recent times and from the corporate domain, companies such as Square and PayPal have purchased Bitcoin.
BlackRock Has Started To ‘Dabble’ In Crypto, Says CIO
“Holding some portion of what you hold in cash in things like crypto seems to make some sense to me,” said Rick Rieder.
Rick Rieder, chief investment officer at BlackRock Financial Management, hinted that the firm ha already invested a percentage of its portfolio into crypto.
In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box on Wednesday, Rieder said BlackRock — with more than $8.6 trillion in assets under management — has “started to dabble a bit” into crypto investments.
The chief investment officer described the volatility of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) as “extraordinary” but acknowledged that many investors were looking for “places that appreciate under the assumption that inflation moves higher as debts are building.”
“Holding some portion of what you hold in cash in things like crypto seems to make some sense to me, but I wouldn’t espouse a certain allocation or target holding,” said Reider. “My sense is the technology has evolved and the regulations have evolved to the point where a number of people find it should be part of the portfolio.”
Rieder did not specify what percentage of BlackRock’s assets under management may be in crypto, but his comments come following the multitrillion-dollar asset manager mentioning Bitcoin in two prospectus filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The filings suggest the possibility of BlackRock using Bitcoin derivatives and other assets as part of its investment scheme.
Executives at the asset management firm have spoken positively about crypto in recent months. Rieder previously said that Bitcoin has the potential to “take the place of gold to a large extent,” while in December 2020, CEO Larry Fink said Bitcoin caught his attention and could possibly evolve into a global market.
The chief investment officer’s recent remarks follow Tesla making a $1.5-billion Bitcoin purchase earlier this month, prompting many firms to face questions about if they’ll consider investing in the crypto asset.
Microsoft and General Motors have both said they have no immediate plans to put Bitcoin on their balance sheets, while Amsterdam-based payment processor Adyen did not rule out the possibility.
Bitcoin Is Durable, Says BlackRock’s Rick Rieder
The chief investment officer seemed to be unmoved by Elon Musk’s announcement on Wednesday but still highlighted some challenges Bitcoin will likely face.
Rick Rieder, chief investment officer at BlackRock Financial Management, is pushing back against Telsa CEO Elon Musk’s decision to drop Bitcoin as a form of payment.
In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box on Thursday, Rieder said Bitcoin (BTC) had “not reached maturity yet” and still had some hurdles to overcome, like the public perception of its energy consumption and price volatility. Though he didn’t specifically mention Musk’s claims that the crypto asset comes “at a great cost to the environment,” he said BTC wasn’t “a normal, stable asset” just yet.
“I think it’s durable,” said Rieder, referring to Bitcoin. “I think it will be part of the investment arena for years to come, but some of these challenges and the volatility around it — regulatory dynamics, fiat currency concerns relative to crypto […] — are real. They will be overcome over time.”
“Bitcoin is an interesting asset. It is one that has not reached maturity yet,” BlackRock’s @RickRieder#btc#bitcoin. “I think it’s durable. I think it will be part of the investment arena for years to come … but these challenges are real. They will be overcome over time.” pic.twitter.com/EentcYawQN
Rieder said in February that Blackrock had “started to dabble a bit” in crypto, acknowledging that investors may sometimes want to hold digital assets instead of fiat. His comments came following the multitrillion-dollar asset manager mentioning Bitcoin in two prospectus filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The filings suggest the possibility of BlackRock using Bitcoin derivatives and other assets as part of its investment scheme.
Following Musk’s remarks on the environmental impact of Bitcoin, the price of the crypto asset fell to under $50,000 for the first time in weeks. At the time of publication, BTC’s price is $50,590, having dropped 11% in the last 24 hours.
The head of fixed income at the world’s largest asset manager says he is distributing his wagers broadly in the face of unprecedented times. He doesn’t expect the pandemic recovery and fiscal stimulus to spur a wave of inflation that ends the long bull market in bonds, but he is also hedging those wagers after learning early in his career that being right isn’t the same thing as making money.
Recently, that has meant trimming assets sensitive to inflation and interest-rate swings, building up cash in his portfolios and buying more corporate loans for their higher returns. To the clients calling to ask whether the economy is overheating, he says price increases are likely temporary, but that the Federal Reserve will have to gradually reduce support for the economy—a prospect he doesn’t find daunting.
“We don’t think inflation is going to be that high for a persistent period of time,” says Mr. Rieder, 59 years old. “But if the markets believe in inflation, well that’s more important than whether six months from now people say, ‘Gosh, you were right.’”
His stance is a key marker on Wall Street, and it stands out at a time when broad inflation worries have racked markets. BlackRock handles $9 trillion in assets on behalf of investors around the globe. Mr. Rieder oversees roughly 20% of that. That alone would give his decisions reach far beyond the company. He is also known as a wizard at divining market forces from the swings of currencies or sovereign bonds.
Many on the Street disagree with his sanguinity. Investors including Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio and billionaire trader Stanley Druckenmiller are among those worried that the government’s post-pandemic largess risks fueling inflation, hurting the dollar and inflating asset bubbles. A measure of inflation surged in April as the U.S. recovery gained steam, with consumer prices jumping to the highest 12-month level since 2008.
Mr. Rieder’s position is supported by benchmark bond yields, which continue to suggest a rapid return to slow, steady growth. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which tends to rise when investors expect a surge in growth and inflation, settled at its highest level in more than a month after data Wednesday showed a bigger-than-expected climb in consumer prices. It remains below its yearly high of 1.749% hit at the end of March.
Wall Street colleagues and competitors describe Mr. Rieder as the opposite of a swashbuckling trader: affable, modest, measured—a 10-handicap golfer whose favorite course is Augusta National. In an era of slow growth, heavy borrowing and perpetually low interest rates, his focus on the crosscurrents of markets and economics commands attention from many.
“There isn’t an investor out there who doesn’t want to know what he’s thinking,” says Marc Badrichani, global head of sales and research at JPMorgan Chase & Co. “With an expansive view of global markets, he has a unique ability to spot emerging trends and incorporate them into long-term investment strategies.”
Raised in Westchester County in New York and educated at Emory University and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Mr. Rieder says he enjoyed picking penny stocks when he was younger, such as shares of AMF Bowling Worldwide Inc., and thought he might become a financial analyst.
After business school, he joined E.F. Hutton & Co. in 1987 without knowing much about bonds. Brokers shouted and flashed hand signals. The trading floor was jammed with bulky computers, but he says he relied on blotters, pen and paper.
“I’ll never forget the first month, sitting there and thinking maybe this is the wrong job,” Mr. Rieder says. “I couldn’t figure out what they were talking about. It was all lingo. I’d go home, and then a week later I’d realized I heard that word again.”
An early trade provided a lifelong lesson. Mr. Rieder bought a chunk of Canadian bonds issued by a utility company, Hydro-Québec. He still remembers the coupon and maturity—details on a bond that affect its value.
He would stay after work to write down the price of every asset that could move his investment. Certain in his analysis, he bought even more. But word of his position got out to traders at other banks. The price moved against him, and he eventually sold at a significant loss. Ever since, he has avoided putting too many eggs in one basket, a strategy he calls “make a little bit of money a lot of times.”
“It changed my thinking and really influenced how I thought about fixed income,” Mr. Rieder says. “I learned that you may be right, but if enough people believe you’re wrong the markets can really hurt you.”
It is a strategy that served him well during his climb at BlackRock. He joined the firm in 2009 to run alternative investments for fixed income and became known for his deep dives into data and a habit of cramming multiple, tiny charts into presentation slides. His performance—three of the funds he manages have been awarded gold medals by rating company Morningstar—eventually earned him a promotion to chief investment officer of fixed income in 2010.
In April 2019 he took over BlackRock’s Global Allocation Fund, which includes investments in stocks. Institutional-class shares have since posted a cumulative return of 35% through March 31, outperforming benchmarks and other comparable funds. More than 85% of BlackRock’s actively managed taxable fixed-income assets beat peers or benchmarks over the one- and five-year periods ended March 31.
Morningstar analyst Claire Butz says the ratings company upgraded the Global Allocation Fund in May because of Mr. Rieder’s leadership and ability to combine big-picture views with extensive research. She says his takeover was “a welcome change from the previous manager’s more siloed approach.”
BlackRock has also ascended. Quarterly profit rose 49% in April. The firm posted record inflows, with $61 billion pouring in to fixed-income investments in the first quarter of 2021. Across all strategies, BlackRock took in $171.6 billion in net new money, up from roughly $35 billion in the year-earlier quarter.
That size makes BlackRock a prized client for bond desks across Wall Street, with dedicated top-ranked salespeople squabbling over the revenue generated from its trades. It also poses a challenge for Mr. Rieder’s strategy—making it hard to invest in smaller markets without moving prices.
The inflows also indicate that investors remain willing to buy bonds and other fixed-income investments, despite the worries about inflation or a sudden reversal from the Fed.
Mr. Rieder expects growth to surge and the dollar to remain stronger than many analysts and investors currently predict. Inflation could be “shocked higher over the next few months,” Mr. Rieder says, but he expects it to remain contained in the long term by trends that include an aging population.
“We are living in a very different time than the 1970s and 1980s because of the demographics,” he says. “As the baby-boomer population ages, individuals have to buy fixed income for pensions, retirement investments—and soak up this huge amount of debt that’s coming, meaning it’s not as scary today.”
Still, he has adjusted his holdings for potential inflation risks. He has pared positions in junk bonds, citing their extremely low yields. He is also holding a lot of cash in portfolios, increasing his investments in loans and buying long-dated corporate bonds with derivatives that offer protection from interest-rate swings. He is holding some euros, too.
The possible end of easy monetary policy doesn’t worry Mr. Rieder, who has lived through previous Fed tapering that didn’t deal a lasting blow to stocks and other assets.
“Letting rates normalize, knowing what that plan is—markets can deal with that, they just don’t like uncertainty,” he says. “It’s really hard setting your portfolio up when you’re not certain how that plan will evolve.”
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink Seeing ‘Very Little’ Demand For Crypto Lately
Fink said he has been asked about crypto and bitcoin in the past, but not in the last two weeks.
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said in a CNBC interview on Wednesday that he is not seeing much demand for digital assets.
* Talking on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” before a call to discuss BlackRock’s second-quarter earnings, Fink said he has been asked about crypto and bitcoin (BTC, -1.47%) in the past, but not in the last two weeks.
* “We see very little demand for those [crypto] types of things,” Fink said.
* He had previously said that bitcoin has “caught the attention” of many people and that the cryptocurrency market was still relatively small compared with others.
* “If we could improve financial literacy. If we could help more people focus on not just speculating of markets and the ups and downs but translating that into investing in the long run,” Fink said in December, commenting on meme stocks.
* BlackRock said Wednesday it has about $10 trillion of assets under management.
BlackRock Closes In On The Once Unthinkable, $10 Trillion In Assets
Chief Executive Larry Fink says inflation is here to stay.
BlackRock Inc.’s second-quarter profit rose 14% on new money coming into the giant asset manager, a sign that investors are becoming more confident about an economic recovery.
The company posted a quarterly profit of $1.378 billion or $8.92 a share, up from $1.214 billion or $7.85 a share a year earlier. Its revenue grew 32% to $4.82 billion.
Its assets under management rose 30% to $9.5 trillion, from $7.3 trillion a year earlier, cementing its dominance as the world’s largest money manager. Known for its funds that track markets and trade rapidly on exchanges, BlackRock’s returns reflect the market’s tremendous rally since the depth of the pandemic and Chief Executive Larry Fink’s push to build a company that serves nearly all types of investors.
While the firm’s returns were lifted by a slate of assets rising to record highs, its fortunes remain tied to markets and shifts in investor sentiment. Mr. Fink will now have to navigate an environment where the pandemic and the central banks’ intervention in markets are changing the economy in radical ways. Prices for things from used cars to oil have risen as the U.S. economy opens up.
And, as the largest shareholder of many of the country’s largest companies for investors, Mr. Fink thinks inflation is likely here to stay.
“I don’t think it’s temporary,” he said.
He said government policies that focused on protecting domestic jobs and America’s supply chain will have inflationary effects. He added that most of the businesses he is talking to are behind on their hiring plans for 2021. This is going to lead to wages rising.
“We’re making structural changes that are going to change the framework of inflation,” he added.
He projects that inflation will exceed 2% annually over the next five years or so.
BlackRock said it was raising base salaries by 8% for active employees up to and including director levels.
Shareholders weren’t thrilled by the prospect of higher wages eating into future profits. BlackRock stock fell by more than 3% in morning trading.
Although BlackRock adjusted profits beat analysts’ estimates, the amount of new money it took in was less than what Wall Street had projected.
BlackRock added roughly $81 billion of new investor money, down from the $100.2 billion haul in a year earlier. Part of the fall came from one big pension fund withdrawing indexed assets in the first half of the year.
Money moving through the company’s sprawling lineup of exchange-traded funds, index products and other funds is a barometer of Wall Street sentiment and where major investors are making bets.
Amid the surge in stocks, bond funds have lost some of their luster this year. Investors added $41.29 billion in money to BlackRock’s bond funds in the second quarter, down from $60 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Some investors are demanding higher yields to be compensated for the risks of inflation.
“Inflation is more damaging to fixed income because the cash flows don’t mean as much as it used to for investors,” said Kyle Sanders, an analyst with Edward Jones.
Some $23 billion of new flows in the quarter went into money funds and cash management products.
With interest rates so low, BlackRock has had to cough up money to prevent yields of money-market funds from dipping below zero in recent months. In the second quarter it gave up some $160 million to prevent yields from turning negative. That is about twice what it gave up in the first quarter.
The firm continues to drive the cost of many funds ever lower, squeezing competitors across the industry. This strategy has cemented the dominance of its exchange-traded funds that trade like stocks on exchanges. That business took in $75 billion in new flows in the quarter.
BlackRock’s business of funds run by bondpickers and other portfolio managers that make active bets continues to gain new investor flows. Despite being a smaller chunk of the firm’s assets, this business generated $1.8 billion in base fees and securities lending revenue in the quarter, on par with the $1.8 billion from index-tracking strategies and ETFs.
Mr. Fink said that active flows helped buoy growth. “Our quarter really yells at that,” he said. “That is indicative of the importance of the active side of BlackRock.”
BlackRock sells software, including a suite of tools called Aladdin, to banks and other institutions to measure risk. Technology-services revenue—which includes fees from Aladdin—rose by about 14%.
BlackRock has also been trying to become a bigger purveyor of funds that can profit from governments’ new focus on climate risks. It generated $35 billion in net flows from sustainable-branded funds in the quarter.
As the firm grows bigger, it faces more scrutiny on how it is wielding shareholder votes on behalf of millions of investors. Mr. Fink said Wednesday that BlackRock is studying ways to let more people whose money the firm is investing for exercise their own voting power.