It’s good news the world’s largest asset manager aims to change how it invests but actions will speak louder than words
BlackRock’s conversion to sustainable investing comes late in the day and may have been motivated, in part, by founder and chief executive Larry Fink’s fear that the “greenwasher” label would stick. Activists were banging on BlackRock’s door. Fink’s treaties on the importance of companies having a “purpose” had become tired. Even some clients were saying BlackRock’s claim to be “engaging” on climate issues was feeble.
So let’s not imagine that the world’s largest asset manager, with almost $7tn under its roof, has suddenly become a pace-setter. In the eyes of many big European fund management houses, most of Fink’s declarations on Tuesday will have sounded wholly conventional. Viewing climate change as “a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects”, as he put it in his “dear CEO” letter, is a mainstream position.