BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, beat Wall Street estimates in the first quarter as it generated larger-than-expected performance fees and bolstered assets under management despite the market turmoil.

The company said assets at the end of March were $4.4 trillion, up 12 percent on a year ago and two percent since the start of 2014.

For the first quarter, BlackRock posted $756 million in earnings, or $4.40 a share, up from $632 million, or $3.62 a share, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue increased nine percent to $2.67 billion, while performance fees grew $50 million from the first quarter of 2013 to $158 million, according to the company.

Analysts had expected $4.11 a share in earnings and $2.66 billion in revenue.

Asset growth was driven by $14 billion of net inflows into BlackRock’s retail products, including its mutual funds, the firm said.

BlackRock is the biggest provider of ETFs in the country, and the business is a key growth area in the mutual fund industry.

Flows into BlackRock’s mutual funds were also boosted by the firm’s alternative products, which can mimic hedge fund strategies but are more easily bought and sold.

BlackRock said the funds are a key growth area in mutual funds;  it has recently launched three new funds that saw $1.1 billion of net long-term inflows.

“The retail base is thirsty for alternatives,” BlackRock president Rob Kapito told analysts after the results were announced.