The world’s leading asset manager BlackRock pulled $64.7bn worth of inflows in Q1 2019, $30.7bn of which came from its iShares ETFs.
A positive start to the year for BlackRock’s ETF business means its iShares ETFs finished March just shy of reaching the $2trn milestone in assets under management (AUM).
The significant inflows into iShares ETFs were dominated by fixed income funds. The asset class alone saw $32.2bn worth of inflows as investors remain hesitant in equity ETF which saw outflows of $1.6bn. As the bond index menu expands, all ETF issuers are seeing a spike in their fixed income ETFs’ AUM.
BlackRock announced last month that it forecasts institutional investors will shift from index equity strategies towards active management.
Despite iShares’ equity ETFs seeing outflows for Q1, the asset class still had over $1.2tn in AUM at the end of March. Following a rush in sales for the same period, fixed income ETFs ballooned to $471.2bn, up from $427.6bn at the end of 2018.
BlackRock brought to market a number of innovative ETFs in Q1, including a focused value factor ETF, an electric car ETF and a sustainable core range of ETFs. The firm also filed for its first ETF dropping the famous ‘iShares’ from the fund’s name.