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BlackRock, Inc. is an American multi-national
investment company An investment company is a financial institution principally engaged in holding, managing and investing securities. These companies in the United States are regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and must be registered under t ...
based in
New York City New York, often called New York City or NYC, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With a 2020 population of 8,804,190 distributed over , New York City is also the L ...
. Founded in 1988, initially as a risk management and
fixed income Fixed income refers to any type of investment under which the borrower or issuer is obliged to make payments of a fixed amount on a fixed schedule. For example, the borrower may have to pay interest at a fixed rate once a year and repay the prin ...
institutional
asset manager Asset management is a systematic approach to the governance and realization of value from the things that a group or entity is responsible for, over their whole life cycles. It may apply both to tangible assets (physical objects such as buildings ...
, BlackRock is the world's largest asset manager, with trillion in assets under management as of January 2022. BlackRock operates globally with 70 offices in 30 countries, and clients in 100 countries. Along with
Vanguard The vanguard (also called the advance guard) is the leading part of an advancing military formation. It has a number of functions, including seeking out the enemy and securing ground in advance of the main force. History The vanguard derives f ...
and State Street, BlackRock is considered to be one of the Big Three index fund managers that dominate corporate America. BlackRock has sought to position itself as an industry leader in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG). The company has faced criticism for worsening
climate change In common usage, climate change describes global warming—the ongoing increase in global average temperature—and its effects on Earth's climate system. Climate change in a broader sense also includes previous long-term changes to ...
, its close ties with the
Federal Reserve System The Federal Reserve System (often shortened to the Federal Reserve, or simply the Fed) is the central banking system of the United States of America. It was created on December 23, 1913, with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, after ...
during the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identi ...
, anticompetitive behavior, and its unprecedented investments in
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
.


History


1988–1997

BlackRock was founded in 1988 by Larry Fink, Robert S. Kapito, Susan Wagner, Barbara Novick, Ben Golub, Hugh Frater, Ralph Schlosstein, and Keith Anderson to provide institutional clients with asset management services from a risk management perspective. Fink, Kapito, Golub and Novick had worked together at First Boston, where Fink and his team were pioneers in the mortgage-backed securities market in the United States. During Fink's tenure, he had lost $100 million as head of First Boston. That experience was the motivation to develop what he and the others considered to be excellent risk management and fiduciary practices. Initially, Fink sought funding (for initial operating capital) from Pete Peterson of
The Blackstone Group Blackstone Inc. is an American alternative investment management company based in New York City. Blackstone's private equity business has been one of the largest investors in leveraged buyouts in the last three decades, while its real estate b ...
who believed in Fink's vision of a firm devoted to risk management. Peterson called it Blackstone Financial Management. In exchange for a 50 percent stake in the bond business, initially Blackstone gave Fink and his team a $5 million credit line. Within months, the business had turned profitable, and by 1989 the group's assets had quadrupled to $2.7 billion. The percent of the stake owned by Blackstone also fell to 40%, compared to Fink's staff. By 1992, Blackstone had a stake equating to about 35% of the company, and Stephen A. Schwarzman and Fink were considering selling shares to the public. The firm adopted the name BlackRock, and was managing $17 billion in assets by the end of the year. At the end of 1994, BlackRock was managing $53 billion. In 1994, Schwarzman and Fink had an internal dispute over methods of compensation and equity. Fink wanted to share equity with new hires, to lure talent from
bank A bank is a financial institution that accepts Deposit account, deposits from the public and creates a demand deposit while simultaneously making loans. Lending activities can be directly performed by the bank or indirectly through capital m ...
s, unlike Schwarzman, who did not want to further lower Blackstone's stake. They agreed to part ways, and Schwarzman sold BlackRock, a decision he later called a "heroic mistake." In June 1994, Blackstone sold a mortgage-securities unit with $23 billion in assets to PNC Bank Corp. for $240 million. The unit had traded mortgages and other fixed-income assets, and during the sales process the unit changed its name from Blackstone Financial Management to BlackRock Financial Management. Schwarzman remained with Blackstone, while Fink went on to become chairman and CEO of BlackRock Inc.


1999–2009

BlackRock went public in 1999 at $14 a share on the
New York Stock Exchange The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE, nicknamed "The Big Board") is an American stock exchange in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. It is by far the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its liste ...
. By the end of 1999, BlackRock was managing $165 billion in assets. BlackRock grew both organically and by acquisition. In August 2004, BlackRock made its first major acquisition, buying State Street Research & Management's holding company SSRM Holdings, Inc. from
MetLife MetLife, Inc. is the Holding company, holding corporation for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC), better known as MetLife, and its affiliates. MetLife is among the largest global providers of insurance, Annuity (US financial produc ...
for $325 million in cash and $50 million in stock. The acquisition raised BlackRock's assets under management from $314 billion to $325 billion. The deal included the mutual-fund business State Street Research & Management in 2005. BlackRock merged with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM) in 2006, halving PNC's ownership and giving
Merrill Lynch Merrill (officially Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated), previously branded Merrill Lynch, is an American investment management and wealth management division of Bank of America. Along with BofA Securities, the investment ba ...
a 49.5% stake in the company. In October 2007, BlackRock acquired the fund-of-funds business of Quellos Capital Management. BlackRock, Inc. The U.S. government contracted with BlackRock to help resolve the fallout of the financial meltdown of 2008. According to ''
Vanity Fair Vanity Fair may refer to: Arts, entertainment and media Literature * Vanity Fair, a location in '' The Pilgrim's Progress'' (1678), by John Bunyan * ''Vanity Fair'' (novel), 1848, by William Makepeace Thackeray * ''Vanity Fair'' (magazines), the ...
'', the financial establishment in
Washington Washington commonly refers to: * Washington (state), United States * Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States ** A metonym for the federal government of the United States ** Washington metropolitan area, the metropolitan area centered o ...
and on
Wall Street Wall Street is an eight-block-long street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. It runs between Broadway in the west to South Street and the East River in the east. The term "Wall Street" has become a metonym for ...
believed BlackRock was the best choice for the job.Andrews, Suzanna.
Larry Fink's $12 Trillion Shadow
''Vanity Fair'', April 2010: "There is little doubt among the financial establishment in Washington and on Wall Street that BlackRock was the best choice to handle the government's problems."
The
Federal Reserve The Federal Reserve System (often shortened to the Federal Reserve, or simply the Fed) is the central banking system of the United States of America. It was created on December 23, 1913, with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, after a ...
allowed BlackRock to superintend the $130 billion-debt settlement of
Bear Stearns The Bear Stearns Companies, Inc. was a New York-based global investment bank, securities trading and brokerage firm that failed in 2008 as part of the global financial crisis and recession, and was subsequently sold to JPMorgan Chase. The com ...
and
American International Group American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is an American multinational finance and insurance corporation with operations in more than 80 countries and jurisdictions. , AIG companies employed 49,600 people.https://www.aig.com/content/dam/aig/amer ...
. In 2009, BlackRock first became the No. 1 asset manager worldwide. In April 2009, BlackRock acquired R3 Capital Management, LLC and took control of the $1.5 billion fund. On 12 June 2009,
Barclays Barclays () is a British multinational universal bank, headquartered in London, England. Barclays operates as two divisions, Barclays UK and Barclays International, supported by a service company, Barclays Execution Services. Barclays traces ...
sold its Global Investors unit (BGI), which included its exchange traded fund business, iShares, to BlackRock for US$13.5 billion. Through the deal, Barclays attained a near-20% stake in BlackRock.


2010–2019

In 2010, Ralph Schlosstein, the CEO of Evercore Partners and a BlackRock founder, called BlackRock "the most influential financial institution in the world." On 1 April 2011, due to Sanofi's acquisition of Genzyme, BlackRock replaced it on the
S&P 500 The Standard and Poor's 500, or simply the S&P 500, is a stock market index tracking the stock performance of 500 large companies listed on stock exchanges in the United States. It is one of the most commonly followed equity indices. As of ...
index. Retrieved January 23, 2012. In 2013, ''Fortune'' listed BlackRock on its annual list of the world's 50 Most Admired Companies. In 2014, ''The Economist'' said that BlackRock's $4 trillion under management made it the "world's biggest asset manager", and it was larger than the world's largest bank, the
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC; ) is a Chinese multinational bank. Founded as a limited company on 1 January 1984, ICBC is a state-owned commercial bank. With capital provided by the Ministry of Finance of China, the b ...
, with $3 trillion. In May of the same year, BlackRock invested in Snapdeal. In December 2014 a BlackRock managing director in London was banned by the British
Financial Conduct Authority The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is a financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom, but operates independently of the UK Government, and is financed by charging fees to members of the financial services industry. The FCA regulates financ ...
for failing the "fit and proper" test, because he paid £43,000 to avoid prosecution for dodging train fares. In response to the incident, BlackRock said, "Jonathan Burrows left BlackRock earlier this year. What he admitted to the FCA is totally contrary to our values and principles." At the end of 2014, the
Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute The Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute or SWF Institute, or SWFI, is a global corporation analyzing public asset owners such as sovereign wealth funds and other long-term governmental investors. Initially, the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute focuse ...
reported that 65% of Blackrock's assets under management were made up of
institutional investor An institutional investor is an entity which pools money to purchase securities, real property, and other investment assets or originate loans. Institutional investors include commercial banks, central banks, credit unions, government-linked ...
s. By June 30, 2015, BlackRock had US$4.721 trillion of assets under management. On August 26, 2015, BlackRock entered into a definitive agreement to acquire
FutureAdvisor BlackRock, Inc. is an American multi-national investment company based in New York City. Founded in 1988, initially as a risk management and fixed income institutional asset manager, BlackRock is the world's largest asset manager, with trill ...
, a digital wealth management provider with reported assets under management of $600 million. Under the deal, FutureAdvisor would operate as a business within BlackRock Solutions (BRS). BlackRock announced in November 2015 that they would wind down the BlackRock Global Ascent hedge fund after losses. The Global Ascent fund had been its only dedicated global macro fund, as BlackRock was "better known for its mutual funds and exchange traded funds." At the time, BlackRock managed $51 billion in hedge funds, with $20 billion of that in funds of hedge funds. In March 2017, the ''
Financial Times The ''Financial Times'' (''FT'') is a British daily newspaper printed in broadsheet and published digitally that focuses on business and economic current affairs. Based in London, England, the paper is owned by a Japanese holding company, Nik ...
'' announced that BlackRock, after a six-month review led by Mark Wiseman, had initiated a restructuring of its $8bn actively-managed fund business, resulting in the departure of seven portfolio managers and a $25m charge in Q2, replacing certain funds with quantitative investment strategies. In May 2017, BlackRock increased its stake in both
CRH plc CRH may refer to: * Calibre radius head, a traditional British ordnance term for a concept in ballistic projectile design * Celtic Resources Holdings, an Irish mining company * China Railway High-speed, a high-speed railway service operated by Chin ...
and
Bank of Ireland Bank of Ireland Group plc ( ga, Banc na hÉireann) is a commercial bank operation in Ireland and one of the traditional Big Four Irish banks. Historically the premier banking organisation in Ireland, the Bank occupies a unique position in Iris ...
. By April 2017, iShares business accounted for $1.41tn, or 26 percent, of BlackRock's total assets under management, and 37 percent of BlackRock's base fee income. In April 2017, BlackRock backed the inclusion of mainland Chinese shares in MSCI's global index for the first time. Between October and December 2018, BlackRock's assets dropped by US$468bn and fell below $6tn. It was the largest decline between quarters since September 2011. As of 2019, BlackRock holds 4.81% of
Deutsche Bank Deutsche Bank AG (), sometimes referred to simply as Deutsche, is a German multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, and dual-listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the New York St ...
, making it the single largest shareholder. This investment goes back to at least 2016. In May 2019, BlackRock received criticism for the environmental impact of its holdings. It is counted among the top three shareholders in every oil " supermajor" except Total, and it is among the top 10 shareholders in 7 of the 10 biggest coal producers.


Since 2020

In his 2020 annual open letter, Fink announced environmental sustainability as a core goal for BlackRock's future investment decisions. BlackRock disclosed plans to sell US$500 million in
coal Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock, formed as rock strata called coal seams. Coal is mostly carbon with variable amounts of other elements, chiefly hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen. Coal is formed when ...
investments. In March 2020, the
Federal Reserve The Federal Reserve System (often shortened to the Federal Reserve, or simply the Fed) is the central banking system of the United States of America. It was created on December 23, 1913, with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, after a ...
chose BlackRock to manage two corporate bond-buying programs in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the $500 billion Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility (PMCCF) and the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF), as well as purchase by the Federal Reserve System of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) guaranteed by Government National Mortgage Association, Federal National Mortgage Association, or Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.Annie Massa
Why BlackRock Has a Role in the Fed Bond-Buying Spree
''The Washington Post'', May 22, 2020
In August 2020, BlackRock received approval from the
China Securities Regulatory Commission The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) is a government ministry of the State Council of the People's Republic of China (PRC). It is the main regulator of the securities industry in China. History China's first Securities Law was ...
to set up a mutual fund business in the country. This made BlackRock the first global asset manager to get consent from the Chinese government to start operations in the country. In January 2020, PNC sold its stake in BlackRock. As of 2021, BlackRock owns 7.50% of
HSBC Holdings plc HSBC Holdings plc is a British multinational universal bank and financial services holding company. It is the largest bank in Europe by total assets ahead of BNP Paribas, with US$2.953 trillion as of December 2021. In 2021, HSBC had $10.8 tril ...
, making it the second single largest shareholder after
Ping An Insurance Ping An Insurance known also as Ping An of China (), full name Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. is a Chinese holding conglomerate whose subsidiaries provide insurance, banking, asset management, financial, healthcare services. ...
.


Ownership and transparency

BlackRock invests the funds of its clients (for example, the owners of iShares ETF units) in numerous publicly traded companies, some of which compete with each other. Because of the size of BlackRock's funds, the company frequently appears among the top shareholders of these companies, such as technology companies
Apple An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (''Malus domestica''). Apple trees are cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus '' Malus''. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancest ...
(BlackRock is listed as owning 6.34%) and
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology corporation producing computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services headquartered at the Microsoft Redmond campus located in Redmond, Washi ...
(6.77%), and financial services firms
Wells Fargo Wells Fargo & Company is an American multinational financial services company with corporate headquarters in San Francisco, California; operational headquarters in Manhattan; and managerial offices throughout the United States and intern ...
(4.30%) and
JPMorgan Chase JPMorgan Chase & Co. is an American multinational investment bank and financial services holding company headquartered in New York City and incorporated in Delaware. As of 2022, JPMorgan Chase is the largest bank in the United States, t ...
(4.41%). BlackRock states these shares are ultimately owned by the company's clients, not by BlackRock itself – a view shared by multiple independent academics – but acknowledges it can exercise shareholder votes on behalf of these clients, in many cases without client input. This concentration of ownership has nonetheless raised concerns of possible anticompetitive behavior. A 2014 study titled "Anticompetitive Effects of Common Ownership" analyzed the effects of this type of common ownership on airline ticket prices. The study found that "Prices go up and quantity goes down when the airlines competing on a given route are more commonly owned by the same set of investors." The authors note that this price increase does not necessarily imply conscious collusion among the common owners, but could perhaps be that these firms are now "too lazy to compete" with themselves. BlackRock is a shareholder in many institutional investors that own shares in BlackRock. This chain of ownership is similar to circular ownership structures which have been identified in the United Kingdom, for example.


Finances

As of 2021, BlackRock ranked 192 on the
Fortune 500 The ''Fortune'' 500 is an annual list compiled and published by ''Fortune (magazine), Fortune'' magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United States Joint-stock company#Closely held corporations and publicly traded corporations, corporations by ...
list of the largest United States corporations by revenue. In 2020, the non-profit
American Economic Liberties Project The American Economic Liberties Project (AELP) is an American non-profit organization that advocates corporate accountability legislation and aggressive enforcement of antitrust regulations. History and leadership The AELP was founded in Febru ...
issued a report highlighting the fact that "the 'Big Three' asset management firms—BlackRock,
Vanguard The vanguard (also called the advance guard) is the leading part of an advancing military formation. It has a number of functions, including seeking out the enemy and securing ground in advance of the main force. History The vanguard derives f ...
and State Street—manage over $15 trillion in combined global assets under management, an amount equivalent to more than three-quarters of U.S. gross domestic product." The report called for structural reforms and better regulation of the financial markets. In 2021, BlackRock managed over $10 trillion in assets under management, about 40% of the GDP of the United States (nominal $25.347 trillion in 2022)


Mergers and acquisitions


BlackRock Solutions

In 2000, BlackRock launched BlackRock Solutions, the analytics and risk management division of BlackRock, Inc. The division grew from the Aladdin System (which is the enterprise investment system), Green Package (which is the Risk Reporting Service) PAG (portfolio analytics) and AnSer (which is the interactive analytics). BlackRock Solutions (BRS) serves two roles within BlackRock. First, BlackRock Solutions is the in-house investment analytics and “process engineering” department for BlackRock which works with their portfolio management teams, risk and quantitative analysis, business operations and every other part of the firm that touches the investment process. Second, BlackRock Solutions (BRS) and the three primary divisions are services that are offered to institutional clients. As of 2013, the platform had nearly 2,000 employees.Briefing: BlackRock - The Monolith And The Markets
''
The Economist ''The Economist'' is a British weekly newspaper printed in demitab format and published digitally. It focuses on current affairs, international business, politics, technology, and culture. Based in London, the newspaper is owned by The Eco ...
'', December 7, 2013, pp. 24-26.
BlackRock differentiates itself from other asset managers by claiming its risk management is not separate. Risk management is the foundation and cornerstone of the firm's entire platform. Aladdin keeps track of 30,000 investment portfolios, including BlackRock's own along with those of competitors, banks,
pension fund A pension fund, also known as a superannuation fund in some countries, is any plan, fund, or scheme which provides retirement income. Pension funds typically have large amounts of money to invest and are the major investors in listed and priva ...
s, and insurers. According to ''
The Economist ''The Economist'' is a British weekly newspaper printed in demitab format and published digitally. It focuses on current affairs, international business, politics, technology, and culture. Based in London, the newspaper is owned by The Eco ...
'', as at December 2013, the platform monitors almost 7 percent of the world's $225 trillion of financial assets. BlackRock Solutions was retained by the
U. S. Treasury Department The Department of the Treasury (USDT) is the national treasury and finance department of the federal government of the United States, where it serves as an executive department. The department oversees the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and ...
in May 2009 to manage (i.e. analyze, unwind, and price) the toxic mortgage assets that were owned by
Bear Stearns The Bear Stearns Companies, Inc. was a New York-based global investment bank, securities trading and brokerage firm that failed in 2008 as part of the global financial crisis and recession, and was subsequently sold to JPMorgan Chase. The com ...
, AIG, Inc., Freddie Mac,
Morgan Stanley Morgan Stanley is an American multinational investment management and financial services company headquartered at 1585 Broadway in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. With offices in more than 41 countries and more than 75,000 employees, the fir ...
, and other financial firms that were affected in the 2008 financial crisis.


Environmental, social and corporate governance investing

In 2017, BlackRock expanded its presence in sustainable investing and environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) with new staff and products both in the USA and Europe with the aim to lead the evolution of the financial sector in this regard. BlackRock started using its weight to draw attention to environmental and diversity issues by means of official letters to CEOs and shareholder votes together with
activist investor An activist shareholder is a shareholder who uses an equity stake in a corporation to put pressure on its management. A fairly small stake (less than 10% of outstanding shares) may be enough to launch a successful campaign. In comparison, a full ...
s or investor networks like the
Carbon Disclosure Project The CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) is an international non-profit organisation based in the United Kingdom, Japan, India, China, Germany and the United States of America that helps companies and cities disclose their environmental i ...
, which in 2017 backed a successful shareholder resolution for
ExxonMobil ExxonMobil Corporation (commonly shortened to Exxon) is an American multinational oil and gas corporation headquartered in Irving, Texas. It is the largest direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil, and was formed on November 3 ...
to act on
climate change In common usage, climate change describes global warming—the ongoing increase in global average temperature—and its effects on Earth's climate system. Climate change in a broader sense also includes previous long-term changes to ...
. In 2018, it asked
Russell 1000 The Russell 1000 Index is a stock market index that tracks the highest-ranking 1,000 stocks in the Russell 3000 Index, which represent about 93% of the total market capitalization of that index. , the stocks of the Russell 1000 Index had a weig ...
companies to improve
gender diversity Gender diversity is equitable or fair representation of people of different genders. It most commonly refers to an equitable ratio of men and women, but may also include people of non-binary genders. Gender diversity on corporate boards has be ...
on their
board of directors A board of directors (commonly referred simply as the board) is an executive committee that jointly supervises the activities of an organization, which can be either a for-profit or a nonprofit organization such as a business, nonprofit orga ...
if they had fewer than two women on them. After discussions with firearms manufacturers and distributors, on April 5, 2018, BlackRock introduced two new
exchange-traded fund An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a type of investment fund and exchange-traded product, i.e. they are traded on stock exchanges. ETFs are similar in many ways to mutual funds, except that ETFs are bought and sold from other owners throughout th ...
s (ETFs) that exclude stocks of gun makers and large gun retailers,
Walmart Walmart Inc. (; formerly Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.) is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets (also called supercenters), discount department stores, and grocery stores from the United States, headquarter ...
,
Dick's Sporting Goods Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. (stylized as "DICK'S Sporting Goods") is an American sporting goods retail company, based in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. The company was established by Richard "Dick" Stack in 1948, and has approximately 854 stores ...
, Kroger, Sturm Ruger,
American Outdoor Brands Corporation American Outdoor Brands, Inc., formerly known as Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation until 2016, is an American manufacturer of outdoor sports and recreation products, with a current 18 brands of outdoor equipment. Until 2020, it owned Smith & Wes ...
, and Vista Outdoor, and removing the stocks from their seven existing ESG funds "to provide more choice for clients seeking to exclude firearms companies from their portfolios." In August 2021, a former BlackRock executive who had served as the company's first global chief investment officer for sustainable investing, said he thought the firm's ESG investing was a "dangerous placebo that harms the public interest." The former executive said that financial institutions are motivated to engage in ESG investing because ESG products have higher fees, which in turn increase company profits. In October 2021, the ''Wall Street Journal'' editorial board wrote that BlackRock was pushing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt rules requiring private companies to publicly disclose their climate impact, the diversity of their boards of directors, and other metrics. The editorial board opined that "ESG mandates, which also carry substantial litigation and reputational risks, will cause many companies to shun public markets. This would hurt stock exchanges and asset managers, but most of all retail investors." In January 2022, BlackRock founder and CEO Larry Fink defended the company's focus on E.S.G. investing, pushing back "against accusations the asset manager was using its heft and influence to support a politically correct or progressive agenda." Fink said the practice of E.S.G. "is woke." According to ''The New York Times'', BlackRock's emphasis on E.S.G. has drawn criticism as "either bowing to anti-business interests" or being "merely marketing". According to CNBC, some conservative groups and lawmakers have accused BlackRock of "woke posturing" to hide the company's funneling of money to Chinese companies. Meanwhile, environmental activists and groups have attacked the company for failing to divest from fossil fuel companies and other large contributors to climate change.


Global warming

As of December 2018, BlackRock was the world's largest investor in coal plant developers, holding shares worth $11 billion among 56 coal plant developers. and BlackRock owned more oil, gas, and thermal coal reserves than any other investor with total reserves amounting to 9.5 gigatonnes of emissions or 30 percent of total energy-related emissions from 2017. Environmental groups including the
Sierra Club The Sierra Club is an environmental organization with chapters in all 50 United States, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. The club was founded on May 28, 1892, in San Francisco, California, by Scottish-American preservationist John Muir, who b ...
, and
Amazon Watch Amazon Watch is a nonprofit organization founded in 1996, and based in Oakland, California, it works to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin. It partners with indigenous and environmental organiz ...
launched a campaign in September 2018 called "BlackRock's Big Problem", claiming that BlackRock is the "biggest driver of climate destruction on the planet", due in part to its refusal to divest from fossil fuel companies. On January 10, 2020, a group of climate activists rushed inside the Paris offices of BlackRock France, painting walls and floors with warnings and accusations on the responsibility of the company in the current climate and social crises. On January 14, 2020, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said that environmental sustainability would be a key goal for investment decisions. BlackRock announced that it would sell $500 million worth of coal-related assets, and create funds that would avoid fossil-fuel stocks, two moves that would drastically shift the company's investment policy. Environmentalist
Bill McKibben William Ernest McKibben (born December 8, 1960)"Bill Ernest McKibben." ''Environmental Encyclopedia''. Edited by Deirdre S. Blanchfield. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2009. Retrieved via ''Biography in Context'' database, December 31, 2017. is a ...
called this a "huge, if by no means final, win for activists." Nonetheless, BlackRock's support for shareholder resolutions requesting
climate risk Climate risk refers to risk assessments based on formal analysis of the consequences, likelihoods and responses to the impacts of climate change and how societal constraints shape adaptation options. Common approaches to risk assessment and ris ...
disclosure fell from 25% in 2019 to 14% in 2020 according to Morningstar Proxy Data.


EU banking rules

The European Ombudsman opened an inquiry in May 2020 to inspect the commission's file on the European Commission's decision to award a contract to BlackRock Investment Management to carry out a study on integrating environmental, social and governance risks and objectives into EU banking rules ('the prudential framework'). European Parliament members questioned the impartiality of the world's largest asset manager given its investments already in the sector.


West Virginia

Riley Moore, the State Treasurer of West Virginia, said in June 2022 that BlackRock and five other financial institutions would no longer be allowed to do business with the state of West Virginia, because of their advocacy against the fossil fuel industry. Moore said, "At a time when energy demand is skyrocketing and consumers are bearing the brunt of generationally high inflation, it makes absolutely no sense for financial institutions to cut off capital and financing to these legal, profitable industries simply because they don’t align with their radical social and political agendas."


Florida

In December 2022 chief financial officer of Florida Jimmy Patronis announced that the
government of Florida The government of Florida is established and operated according to the Constitution of Florida and is composed of three branches of government: the executive branch consisting of the governor of Florida and the other elected and appointed con ...
would be divesting $2 billion worth of investments under management by BlackRock, due to firm's move to strengthen ESG standards and ESG policies. BlackRock later responded to the announcement with a statement stating that the divestment would place politics over investor interest.


Investments in China

In August 2021, BlackRock set up its first mutual fund in China after raising over one billion dollars from 111,000 Chinese investors. BlackRock became the first foreign-owned company allowed by the Chinese government to operate a wholly-owned business in China's mutual fund industry. Writing in ''The Wall Street Journal'', George Soros described BlackRock's initiative in China as a "tragic mistake" that would "damage the national security interests of the U.S. and other democracies." In October 2021, non-profit group
Consumers' Research Consumers' Research is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 1929 by Stuart Chase and F. J. Schlink after the success of their book '' Your Money's Worth: a study in the waste of the Consumer's Dollar'' galvanized interest in testing p ...
launched an ad campaign criticizing BlackRock's relationship with the Chinese government. In December 2021, it was reported that BlackRock was an investor in two companies that had been blacklisted by the US government for
human rights abuses Human rights are moral principles or normsJames Nickel, with assistance from Thomas Pogge, M.B.E. Smith, and Leif Wenar, 13 December 2013, Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyHuman Rights Retrieved 14 August 2014 for certain standards of h ...
against the
Uyghurs The Uyghurs; ; ; ; zh, s=, t=, p=Wéiwú'ěr, IPA: ( ), alternatively spelled Uighurs, Uygurs or Uigurs, are a Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic group originating from and culturally affiliated with the general region of Central Asia, Cent ...
in Xinjiang. In one case (
Hikvision Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co., Ltd., often shortened to Hikvision, is a Chinese state-owned manufacturer and supplier of video surveillance equipment for civilian and military purposes, headquartered in Hangzhou, Zhejiang. Due to i ...
) BlackRock increased its level of investment after the company was blacklisted.


Investments in India

The firm maintains a dedicated India Fund, through which it invests in Indian start-ups like Byju's, Paytm, Pine Labs, etc. As of late 2021, it is lowering its investment in
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
while increasing investment in
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
.


Public perception

In his 2018 annual letter to shareholders, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink wrote that other CEOs should be aware of their impact on society. Anti-war organizations objected to Fink's statement, saying that BlackRock is the largest investor in weapon manufacturers through its iShares U.S. Aerospace and Defense ETF. In May 2018, anti-war organizations held a demonstration outside the annual BlackRock shareholders' meeting in Manhattan, New York. The firm has also been criticized regarding climate change inaction and deforestation in the Amazon. According to ''The New Republic'', BlackRock "has positioned itself as the good guy on Wall Street, and its executives as a crew of mild-mannered money managers who understand the risks of the climate crisis and the importance of diversity. But those commitments, critics say, only extend so far into the firm's day-to-day operations." Due to its power, and the sheer size and scope of its financial assets and activities, BlackRock has been called the world's largest shadow bank. In 2020, U.S. Representatives Katie Porter and Jesús "Chuy" García proposed a U.S. House bill aiming to restrain BlackRock and other so-called shadow banks. On March 4, 2021, U.S. Senator
Elizabeth Warren Elizabeth Ann Warren ( née Herring; born June 22, 1949) is an American politician and former law professor who is the senior United States senator from Massachusetts, serving since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party and regarded as ...
suggested that BlackRock should be designated " too big to fail". BlackRock was scrutinized for allegedly taking advantage of its close ties with the
Federal Reserve System The Federal Reserve System (often shortened to the Federal Reserve, or simply the Fed) is the central banking system of the United States of America. It was created on December 23, 1913, with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, after ...
during the COVID-19 pandemic response efforts. In June 2020, ''
The New Republic ''The New Republic'' is an American magazine of commentary on politics, contemporary culture, and the arts. Founded in 1914 by several leaders of the progressive movement, it attempted to find a balance between "a liberalism centered in hu ...
'' wrote that BlackRock "was having a very good pandemic" and was casting "itself as socially responsible while contributing to the climate catastrophe, evading regulatory scrutiny, and angling to influence a Biden administration."


Key people

As of 2021, Blackrock had an eighteen-person board of directors. They were: * Larry Fink – founder, chairman and CEO * Bader M. Alsaad * Pamela Daley * Jessica P. Einhorn *
Beth Ford Beth E. Ford is an American businessperson. Ford is most notable for being the CEO of Land O'Lakes, an American agricultural cooperative which she assumed leadership of in 2018. She is the first openly gay female CEO of an American ''Fortune'' 50 ...
* William E. Ford *
Fabrizio Freda Fabrizio Freda (born 31 August 1957 in Naples) is an Italian business executive. Biography Freda was born in Naples and graduated from University of Naples Federico II in March 1981. Career He was appointed president and chief executive officer ...
* Murry S. Gerber * Margaret "Peggy" L. Johnson * Robert S. Kapito – founder and co-president * Cheryl D. Mills * Gordon M. Nixon * Kristin Peck * Charles H. Robbins *
Carlos Slim Domit Carlos Slim Domit (born 1967) is a Mexican businessman and the son of Carlos Slim Helú. Early life Carlos Slim Domit was born in 1967 in Mexico and is of Lebanese origin from both his maternal and paternal families. He is the eldest son of Carl ...
* Hans V. Vestberg * Susan Wagner – founder, member of the board * Mark Wilson People who have previously served on the Blackrock board of directors include: * Brian Deese - former Global Head of Sustainable Investing * Blake Grossman, former vice chairmanBlackrocks Blake Grossman will leave Firm one year after BGI Acquisition
January 2011, bloomberg.com. Retrieved February 2011


See also

* Companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange (B) *
Charles Hallac Charles Shaul Hallac (October 20, 1964 – September 9, 2015) was an American businessman. He served as co-president of American financial company BlackRock. Early life and education Charles Hallac was born in Tel Aviv. He earned a BA degree in ...
* List of asset management firms * List of CDO managers *
List of companies based in New York City This is a list of notable corporations headquartered, current and historically, in New York City, New York. The table is arranged alphabetically by company, but can also be sorted by industry. See also * List of New York companies * Te ...
*
List of hedge funds Below is a list of notable hedge funds. Largest hedge fund firms Below are the 20 largest hedge funds in the world ranked by discretionary assets under management (AUM) as of mid-2022. Only assets in private funds following hedge fund strat ...
* List of mutual-fund families in the United States * List of S&P 500 companies


References


Further reading

* * *


External links

* {{Authority control 1988 establishments in New York (state) 1999 initial public offerings Companies based in Manhattan Companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange Financial services companies based in New York City Financial services companies established in 1988 Investment management companies of the United States Multinational companies based in New York City Publicly traded companies based in New York City