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T. Rowe announces strong quarter, plans for return to the office

T. Rowe Price officials say the demand for social impact investing choices is likely to grow. (The Daily Record/ File Photo)

T. Rowe Price announced a strong quarter to open 2021 as signals continue to point to growth following a brief downturn at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The company also announced plans for a return to in-person work in North America and the United Kingdom in September. (The Daily Record/ File Photo)

T. Rowe Price announced another strong quarter to start 2021, with results signaling continued growth following a brief downturn at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company also announced plans for a return to in-person work, which will include a paced, voluntary return to the office followed by a full return in September for employees in North America and the United Kingdom.

The company’s ending assets under management for Q1 were $1.52 trillion, up 50.5% from first quarter last year. The final weeks of the first quarter of 2020 coincided with the beginning of shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and an accompanying recession and stock market crash.

The Baltimore-based asset manager’s net client inflows were $1.2 billion and net revenues were $1.8 billion. Its adjusted non-GAAP diluted earnings per common share surpassed estimates, rising to $3.01 this quarter and beating a Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.92 per share by 3.08%. This is also an increase of 61% from Q1 2020. T. Rowe has beat estimates every quarter over the past year.

T. Rowe President and CEO William J. Stromberg continues to attribute growth to strong global markets, which quickly recovered from the effects of the pandemic.

“It would have been very hard to forecast just how powerful this recovery has been,” he said. “It’s extraordinary, and it has a lot to do with the science coming forward, with vaccines, and also the enormous support and stimulus provided by the federal reserve … and the government.”

The firm has essentially been able to fully recover from the effects of the pandemic, with the “vast majority” of planned projects remaining on track.

“It’s an amazing outcome, but a lot of people had to work very hard for that to happen,” Stromberg said. Most recently, the company announced the launch of its first ever “impact fund,” and late last year, it announced plans to move its headquarters to a new building in Harbor Point in 2024.

The company’s new Shanghai investment office also opened in March of this year. It is the company’s sixth office in the Asia Pacific region and 24th worldwide.

Like many companies, T. Rowe is planning a return to the office, with all workers in both North America and the United Kingdom set to return on September 13. The company is currently phasing in in-person work with employees permitted to come into the office on a voluntary basis.

Some have already begun coming in one or two days a week and Stromberg expects more to begin returning over the summer months. He himself comes into the office about once a week.

Returning to the office will be important for strengthening connections between employees, including those who were hired amid the pandemic.

“Many of them haven’t met their supervisor in person,” Stromberg said. “We have to cement those relationships.”

T. Rowe is also planning to provide more work from home opportunities to employees post-pandemic. The company is currently in the process of going through the various positions at T. Rowe to figure out which ones can have some flexibility to work from home a few days a week, and which ones will have to come into the office every day.

“We’ve made a commitment to increased workforce flexibility when we do come back,” Stromberg said.

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