Activists have an ally in Blackrock Inc., which reportedly manages $4 trillion in assets.
An excerpt from Blackrock’s recent Annual Report,
“Better Governance Means Better Performance
Our fiduciary duty to our clients leads us to use the ownership position we hold in companies around the world to protect their interests by advocating for good corporate
governance. Through direct engagement with management teams and effective use of our proxy voting power, we work to ensure the strong leadership and prudent management that we believe ensures sustained performance and better returns on our clients’ investments.”
Blackrock has been using its position as a large corporate shareholder to influence change. As reported in the New York Times “Dealbook”, Chairman and CEO, Laurence Fink, sent a letter to the heads of the S&P 500 companies recommending that the companies focus on actions to promote sustainable growth vs short-term fixes.