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…

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…

BlackRock’s Larry Fink: Climate change risk worse than Great Recession

BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink is warning that the financial risks of climate change are bigger than any crisis he’s experienced in his career on Wall Street. “We don’t have a Federal Reserve to stabilize the world like in the five or six financial crises that occurred during my 40 years in finance,” the…

BlackRock Joins World’s Largest Investor Group on Climate Change – WSJ

BlackRock Inc. said Thursday that it has joined Climate Action 100+, the world’s largest group of investors by assets pressuring companies to act on climate change, following criticism that the money manager hasn’t done enough to move the needle. “We believe evidence of the impact of climate risk on investment portfolios is building rapidly and…

Want a Bigger Say on Corporate Behavior? Move Your Money – The New York Times

From our former colleague Jackie Cook — index fund voting patterns may be an unhappy surprise to their investors. [W]hile index funds offered by different companies were often nearly indistinguishable in fees and performance, the voting behavior of the funds was very different. Vanguard and BlackRock, the two biggest fund managers, tended to side with…

Rise of Index ETFs Could Result in Complacent Corporate Governance | ETF Trends

Echoing (or catching up to) the findings of VEA Chair Bob Monks in his book Citizens Disunited, this reflects increasing concerns about “drone” investors. As more money flows into index-based stock mutual funds and ETFs, there may be less actively involved shareholders willing to push for changes during shareholder meetings. Index funds now account for…