A “Tectonic Shift” Toward Sustainability: BlackRock Investment Institute

A focus on sustainability can help make portfolios more resilient. We believe the adoption of sustainable investing is a tectonic shift that will carry a return advantage for years to come – and the coronavirus shock seems to be accelerating this shift. via Global Weekly Commentary | BlackRock Investment Institute A commonly held view is…

BlackRock Shows Resolve and Restraint in Public Climate Test – Bloomberg

In the first major test of BlackRock Inc.’s commitment to use its vast influence and resources to fight climate change, the asset manager showed a capacity both for combativeness and restraint. The $6.5 trillion firm said in a report on Tuesday it identified 244 companies during the 2020 annual proxy season that weren’t doing enough…

Dark Money: It’s Time for Boards and Institutional Investors to Act on Racial Justice

Bruce Freed of The Center for Political Accountability and Eleanor Bloxham of The Value Alliance have an important op-ed in Barron’s about the long-standing opposition of the Big 3 institutional investors – BlackRock, Vanguard and Fidelity — to shareholder resolutions calling for disclosure of political disclosure and the connection to corporate political spending that has…

The One Percent Begs Larry Fink to Lighten Up

In case you thought this period of re-assessment of policies and priorities might lead to a universal recognition of the importance of long-term sustainability, we can now assure you that is not the case. Indeed, we believe that it is the prospect of a better alignment to prevent corporate leaders from externalizing their costs that…

BlackRock stands by climate priorities, sees tougher shareholder votes – Reuters

Michelle Edkins, BlackRock’s (BLK.N) global head of investment stewardship, said in an interview on Tuesday that the pandemic is consuming corporate attention but indicated that BlackRock will not cut company directors slack as it decides whether to back their re-election. BlackRock will continue to judge whether boards have made progress against goals BlackRock has touted…

BlackRock’s Vow for Greener Planet to Get First Real-World Test – Bloomberg

Fink, who built the company from a mortgage-bond specialist into the largest asset manager in the world, has a crew of just a few dozen to prod the thousands of companies in BlackRock’s $7 trillion of funds to toe a more environmentally friendly line. With the annual proxy season set to kick off in earnest next month, when shareholders get…

The Hidden Dangers of the Great Index Fund Takeover – Bloomberg

We have repeatedly warned about the problem of index funds, including VEA Chair Robert A.G. Monks’ book Citizens Disunited, with extensive data on “drone” companies (with stock ownership tracking the index) and VEA Vice Chair Nell Minow was one of the judges who selected Index Funds and the Future of Corporate Governance: Theory, Evidence and…

Blackrock’s Larry Fink: Letter to CEOs

Blackrock’s Larry Fink wrote to the portfolio company CEOs to tell them that investors insist on more from them when it comes to climate change, from disclosure to strategy. Bottom line (literally): “Climate risk is investment risk.” Here is the letter: Dear CEO, As an asset manager, BlackRock invests on behalf of others, and I…