2018 Annual Report

Better choices. Expanding client options.

Whether we are offering high-quality portfolio building blocks or customizing whole portfolio solutions based on clients’ investment objectives and risk tolerances, the breadth and diversity of BlackRock’s investment platform provides clients with better choices.

We offer the broadest range of investment strategies across the risk spectrum: money market funds for cash investments; index exposures to markets globally through separate accounts and ETFs; factor strategies designed to harness the power of broad and persistent drivers of return; systematic and fundamental equity, fixed income and multi-asset strategies that target alpha generation; higher conviction alpha strategies with higher risk and return profiles and finally illiquid alternatives, like infrastructure, private credit and real estate strategies, that deliver uncorrelated sources of return.

BlackRock offers investors better choices. And better choices drive better outcomes for both clients and shareholders.

$6.0 trillion of AUM



How does iShares differentiate BlackRock with clients?


ETFs are open-end index funds that can be traded with real-time pricing and combine the flexibility of on-exchange trading with the simplicity and efficiency of index-based investing.

BlackRock’s iShares platform consists of nearly 1,000 ETFs, representing $1.7 trillion in assets under management for clients around the world. The breadth of our platform enables us to serve every type of investor’s needs.

We offer iShares Core ETFs, designed to help build a strong foundation for a long-term portfolio in a low-cost way. We offer the largest selection of factor ETFs, which capture enduring sources of returns across asset classes. We are leading innovation of fixed income ETFs, which increase transparency, simplicity and liquidity for managing bond allocations. And we support investors using iShares as financial instruments, as they look for precise market exposures and robust secondary market liquidity.

iShares empowers investors to build toward the outcomes they want by providing cost-efficient, transparent and convenient access to almost any market imaginable.


What are the benefits to alternatives being integrated as part of BlackRock’s broader platform?


As a comprehensive solutions provider, BlackRock’s alternatives franchise benefits from having the context of a client’s entire portfolio when managing alternatives strategies on their behalf.

Alternatives are a strategically important asset class for BlackRock and are becoming an increasingly important part of our clients’ portfolios, with 84% of investors saying they plan to increase their allocation to alternatives over the next 5 years.

We have built a comprehensive and differentiated alternatives platform, supported by robust sourcing capabilities, investment expertise and scaled distribution. BlackRock manages over $135 billion of core alternatives assets, including over $80 billion in illiquid strategies. Clients value not only the strong track record of our alternatives offerings, but also our ability to provide solutions integrating alternatives with strategies across the broader BlackRock platform.


How is BlackRock addressing the growing demand for strategies that target financial returns alongside sustainable outcomes?


At BlackRock, we define sustainable investing as the combination of traditional investment approaches with environmental, social and governance (ESG) insights to mitigate risk and enhance long-term returns. We believe companies that effectively manage ESG risks and opportunities perform better over time.

Demand for sustainable investing is accelerating rapidly. Clients want more investing options, enhanced data and reporting, and increased commitment from asset managers to integrate sustainability into investment processes. BlackRock has increased our focus on sustainability across the board — from our investment processes to the investment solutions we offer.

BlackRock’s Sustainable Investing platform consists of more than $50 billion in dedicated ESG strategies. We also manage more than $440 billion in solutions that eliminate exposure to certain sectors or activities. And we offer our strategies in index and alpha-seeking, with varying levels of customization, from iShares Sustainable Core ETFs to bespoke, institutional client solutions.

BlackRock’s goal is to expand choice and offer the broadest and most innovative solutions available, to give all clients an opportunity to invest sustainably.

BlackRock has developed the most comprehensive investment and technology platform so we can build better portfolios that help more people build better futures.
Better technology.
Leading the digitization of 
asset management.
Read More
Building better futures.
Read More

Letter to our shareholders

As I reflected on the last year, something felt different about 2018.

Read More