Central banks do not understand "the huge pain" low interest rates are causing to the long-term interests of insurance companies, pension funds and retirement plans, BlackRock founder and CEO Laurence Fink said Thursday.
Fink spoke after BlackRock reported first-quarter earnings that beat Street estimates. He attributed the performance of his firm in part to the fact that low interest rates are creating problems for its clients, and they are consequently seeking guidance.
"It's a global phenomenon that global interest rates are creating huge pain. This is something that's misunderstood and not talked about enough. Everyone appreciates low rates, how it really accelerates the interest markets, which it's certainly doing, but it's certainly creating quite a bit of havoc with a lot of our clients," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box."
BlackRock is the world's largest asset manager, overseeing $4 trillion of investments.
Those low interest rates are preventing BlackRock's insurance companies in Europe from reinvesting in Germany and Switzerland, he said. They must now look for other ways of making returns.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi suggested on Wednesday that low interest rates in Europe will likely persist as the ECB continues its bond-buying program for another year or more.
"If you think rates are going to stay that low longer, you're going to see more and more people moving into equities, into more alternatives," Fink said. "We're seeing that conversation now. We have one of the top-ranked European equity funds in the world and we're seeing huge inflows into our European equities."