Will BlackRock Impact Corporate Social Impact?
When Larry Fink — Founder, Chairman and CEO of the world’s largest investment firm BlackRock, Inc. — tells CEOs that they should care about their company’s social impact, people listen.
And the media reports.
Whether you think Fink’s message is a a “watershed moment on Wall Street” like Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times — or you are more skeptical about the letter’s impact on corporate actions — there is no denying the buzz it has caused, especially for those of us who care about how the private sector can advance public good.
In case you are overwhelmed by coverage, here are some articles we think are worth reading — or at least skimming.
Larry Fink’s Annual Letter to CEOs: A Sense of Purpose
We suggest reading the letter in its entirety before diving into what others have to say about it.
Larry Fink's 2018 letter to CEOs on how companies must have a social purpose and pursue a strategy for achieving…www.blackrock.com
BlackRock’s Message: Contribute to Society, or Risk Losing Our Support
Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times was the first report on Fink’s letter.
In a candid assessment of what's happening in the business world - and perhaps taking a veiled shot at Washington at…www.nytimes.com
BlackRock CEO to Companies: Pay Attention To ‘Societal Impact’ (paywall)
The boss of the world’s largest money manager told corporate chiefs to get ready for BlackRock to become a more…www.wsj.com
Wall Street Titan to CEOs: It’s Not Just About the Money
Charles Riley of CNN Money writes, “The message won’t be cheered in all quarters. Some corporate leaders hold that their sole obligation is to maximize returns to shareholders. But that view is being challenged more frequently.”
The investment guru has written to leading CEOs to urge them to expand their focus beyond profit, and work to improve…money.cnn.com
BlackRock Just Did One Thing That Changed the Game for Anyone Who Invests
Ross Baird, writing for ImpactAlpha, argues that “BlackRock’s decision could actually change the day-to-day behavior of CEOs, boards and leadership teams in ways that philanthropy, CSR and past impact investing initiatives have not.”
CEO of world’s largest asset manager tells companies that measuring impact is no longer optionalnews.impactalpha.com
BlackRock Preaches Long-Termism, But Some Critics Aren’t Buying the Sermon
Leon Kaye reporting for TriplePundit.com explores both positive and negative reactions, concluding that “(BlackRock) will only be taken seriously by the business community when it finally takes action and sheds some equities tied to companies with dubious environmental and social track records.”
BlackRock and its founder and CEO, Laurence D. Fink, made waves earlier this week when he said in an open letter that…www.triplepundit.com
Trending: Blackrock, Citi Respond to Turning Tide by Embracing Social Responsibility
Sustainable Brands looks at the trend of companies recognizing “the link between strong ESG performance and profit.”
Environmental and social issues are increasingly being used to shape business practice as companies recognize the link…www.sustainablebrands.com
BlackRock CEO Urges Private Industry to Consider its Overall Impact
Erin Ruben from the Nonprofit Quarterly gives her public sector take on how Fink’s letter might impact nonprofits.
January 16, 2018; New York Times Laurence Fink, the CEO of BlackRock and "one of the most influential investors in the…nonprofitquarterly.org
BlackRock’s Larry Fink Talks the Talk But Omits the Walk: Gadfly
Stephen Gandel’s article featured in The Washington Post is skeptical. “In the end, Fink’s letters imploring companies to think more about the long-term health of the economy can’t hurt, though if BlackRock doesn’t actually back it up with action, it’s hard to see how much it can actually help.”
In 2014, BlackRock Inc. CEO Larry Fink, in his first missive to top CEOs, implored business leaders to think long term…www.washingtonpost.com
Is BlackRock Seeing ‘Cleary’-Eyed? A ‘Watershed Moment’ If Words Become Actions
Jay Coen Gilbert, B Lab co-founder and Forbes contributor, uses Fink’s message to argue for corporate governance reform. “Until companies adopt benefit corporation governance or its equivalent, market and legal forces will support only long-term, responsible strategies in which shareholder and stakeholder interests converge.”
BlackRock told CEOs of public companies that they must show how they contribute to society or risk losing the firm's…www.forbes.com
The World’s Largest Investment Firm Wants Corporations to “Serve a Social Purpose”
Emily Stewart reports in Vox about lingering questions surrounding Fink’s message. “Fink makes some reference to where he believes companies should be focusing in their long-term strategies — items such as wage growth, automation, and climate change — but exactly what he is looking for, or what BlackRock intends to do about it, is largely unclear. He also doesn’t downplay the importance of profits but instead seems to imply money-making and acting with a responsibility to society are intertwined.”
The man at the helm of the world's largest investment company raised eyebrows on Tuesday with a letter to the CEOs of…www.vox.com
Companies Say They Want To Support Sustainable Development, But Do They Know How?
Ben Schiller’s article in Fast Company suggests CEOs want to make a positive contribution to society as Fink requests, but they aren’t sure how to — as evidenced by a recent Deloitte survey of CEOs on their company’s efforts to advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The head of the world's largest investment fund, Blackrock, set Wall Street aflutter recently when he told CEOs they…www.fastcompany.com
BlackRock sets out major SRI ambitions and targets passives
Reporting for Citywire Selector, Margaryta Kirakosian highlights that BlackRock “plans to double the size of the investment stewardship team over the next three years.”
Fink added that existing global head of investment stewardship, Michelle Edkins, will continue to lead the group…citywireselector.com
Everyone at Davos is talking about ‘Larry’s letter’
“Larry’s Letter” is starting conversations at the 2018 World Economic Forum. Business Insider’s Matt Turner describes three typical CEO responses: 1) Those who agree wholeheartedly 2) Those who question whether there’s a friction between a “positive contribution to society” and financial performance and 3) Those who think that BlackRock telling CEOs that they need to make a “positive contribution to society” is straying into the world of politics.