CEO Larry Fink has become an increasingly important voice in the business world over the past decade, pushing companies to think about more than just profit. His annual letter on “stakeholder capitalism” has drawn criticism from conservatives who say he panders to “awakened” values.
Republicans in several energy-rich states have challenged the company over its views on climate change, and Texas has threatened to limit its dealings with New York-based BlackRock. In Florida, the firm has faced criticism for trading in China, and former Vice President Mike Pence said in a recent speech that big investment firms are pushing a “radical ESG agenda” specifically targeting BlackRock. Said there was
There is also a backlash in Washington. Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan and Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey are backing a bill that would limit the voting rights of large asset managers at shareholder meetings.
The ad, which will go live on Monday, will also highlight a low-cost investment product managed by BlackRock, as well as a $20 billion investment the company is making in roads, bridges and transportation in the United States, according to the memo. Meanwhile, Fink and his senior management have emphasized meeting with business and civil society groups this year, particularly on climate and energy issues.
The company is already well known in the corridors of power and has hired former government officials and regulators over the years. The Biden administration has appointed BlackRock executives to senior positions in the White House and the Treasury Department. When COVID-19 roiled markets, the Federal Reserve turned to BlackRock to manage the response.
Still, the media campaign shows that even with its Washington ties, BlackRock believes it needs to step up its advocacy.
As a top five shareholder of nearly every company on the S&P 500, BlackRock routinely faces pressure for voting rights at annual shareholder meetings. This year, for example, investors in large retailers were asked to vote on whether companies should report risks to employees if the Supreme Court overturns his Roe v. Wade decision.
“BlackRock’s business and influence are driven by a growing world of stakeholders, from our clients, shareholders and employees, to the communities in which we operate and society at large, around the world,” Blass and Craddock said. I feel it,” he said. “We’ve worked together to tell the story of who we are and what we do.”