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BlackRock U.S. ETF business reached $1 trillion in assets

Staff Writer |
BlackRock's exchange-traded fund unit, iShares, topped $1 trillion in assets in the United States for the first time.

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The milestone, reached last Thursday, came after a dramatic shift in markets since the November U.S. presidential election, including a rally in U.S. stocks, and is a capstone in a move by investors to lower-cost ETFs.

ETFs are a basket of stocks or other assets traded by individual investors and institutions. They often charge lower fees than many mutual funds, incur fewer taxes and offer the convenience of buying entire markets as simply as trading a single stock. Many track indexes instead of trying to beat the market.

Demand for ETFs has so far survived debate over the durability of the funds during market stress.

ETFs took in $375 billion globally in 2016. BlackRock pulled in $140 billion of that, including $105 billion in the United States, according to BlackRock and FactSet Research Systems Inc.

In 2009, BlackRock bought the iShares business from Barclays , which had helped popularize the funds. Today, iShares account for a quarter of BlackRock's assets under management.

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