Getting along with Blackrock
“What is the significance of having BlackRock as our largest shareholder?” This question is being asked by corporations around the world as they prepare for annual meetings and plan to engage with shareholders.
BlackRock, with more than $5 trillion of assets under management, is the world’s largest investor. They appear at the top of the share register of listed companies around the world. They are also one of the most engaged and influential global shareholders – they provide detailed information about their policies, views and activities on their website, deliver advice to CEOs in an annual letter from Chairman and CEO Larry Fink, and are regularly seen providing insights in the business and financial media about corporate governance, sustainability, shareholder rights and board accountability.
Given the firm’s importance and high visibility, it seemed logical to go directly to BlackRock and ask how it would answer the question of its significance as a shareholder. I arranged to meet with Michelle Edkins (Global Head of BlackRock’s Investment Stewardship team) and Zach Oleksiuk (Head of the Americas of BlackRock’s Investment Stewardship team) – two of the primary decision-makers responsible for stewardship in relation to BlackRock’s portfolio companies – i.e., how BlackRock thinks and behaves as a shareholder.
Read the entire Client Memo by downloading the attachment below.
Zack Oleksiuk has since left BlackRock, however the approach of the current stewardship leadership team remains consistent with this article.