Bull Bear Report Jan 25 2011

BlackRock Expands Staff, Pay up 53%

By julie steinberg

BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, increased its headcount and the amount it paid each of its employees in the 2010.

The firm added 1,010 employees in 2010, growing headcount by 12.5% to 9,100. It set aside almost $3.1 billion in compensation, up from $1.8 billion last year, a 72% increase. On average, employees took home $340,329 in 2010, compared to $222,469 in 2009, a 53% increase.

Employee compensation in the fourth quarter of 2010 increased $284 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2009, as a result of the employees BlackRock absorbed from its acquisition of Barclays Global Investors, a global investing company. There was a $166 million increase in incentive compensation associated with the increase in operating income. There was also a $26 million increase in stock-based compensation expenses due to grants given out to a larger number of employees at the end of January 2010.

The firm reported a fourth quarter profit of $670 million, up 77% from a year earlier. Market conditions, increased investor demand and the acquisition of Barclays Global Investors helped fuel a strong fourth quarter. BlackRock reported earnings of $3.42 a share, beating analysts' expectations of $2.90. Assets under management increased 3% to $3.56 trillion in the fourth quarter.

"We had strong results," Chief executive Laurence Fink said on a conference call. "They reflect strong product results, as well as strong markets."

Write to Julie Steinberg

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