Alternative Investments: Larry Fink Rejects Bailout Talk During Blackrock’s Q1 Call

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink took umbrage with at a question from Patrick Davitt of Autonomous Research. Davitt asked during a conference call this week if the Fed buying ETFs was a bailout for Blackrock.

“I object to the way you framed it as a bailout,” Mr. Fink said. “I don’t know where you’re coming from with that question. I think it’s insulting.”

BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) executives provided more detail about the firm’s first-quarter results on a conference call Wednesday.

More From BlackRock CEO Larry Fink

Fink praised the strength and resilience of the model his firm has used to navigate the troubled market environments caused by the coronavirus. He said that the areas in which Blackrock has been focusing the last several years, including iShare ETFs, illiquid alternatives to sample investment strategies, and Aladdin portfolio management software helped the firm to deliver strong performance in the quarter.

Despite outflows from institutional de-risking of index strategies, the firm saw net inflows for the first quarter of the year of about $35 billion, according to Mr. Fink. The most significant source of inflows were cash accounts and liquid alternative investments. Despite market volatility, iShares had net inflows of $14 billion. Active equity strategies bucked the industry trend and had $4 billion of inflow at a time when the active equity industry experienced a total of $100 billion of outflows.

BlackRock CFO Gary Shedlin told analysts that the company was financially solid. He said the firm is well-positioned to grow in 2020 despite the ongoing economic shutdown. The firm raised the dividend by 10% to $3.63 per share. It has no plans to reduce the dividend during the remainder of the year. After buying back $400 million of stock in the first quarter, Blackrock will purchase at least $300 million a quarter for the rest of the year.

Related: Private Equity: Silver Lake Partners Pushes Massive $16 Billion Fund

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