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.

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