State Street Corp , one of the world's largest institutional investors, said quarterly operating earnings rose as improved financial markets helped boost custody servicing and asset management fees.

The company, which earns the bulk of its revenue for services like record-keeping for mutual and hedge funds, said that excluding special items, earnings rose to $444 million, or 88 cents a share, from $371 million, or 75 cents a share, year earlier.

Analysts had expected 86 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net income was $471 million, or 93 cents a share, compared with $495 million, or 99 cents, a year earlier.

Late last year the company took a charge to reposition its portfolio and cut jobs.

Assets under custody and administration rose 19 percent from a year earlier to $22.6 trillion and climbed 5 percent from the 2010 fourth quarter.

Assets under management rose 7.7 percent from a year ago to $2.1 trillion as investment management fees earned at the company's State Street Global Advisors unit increased, in part because of improved financial market conditions.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; editing by John Wallace)