Asset Managers like BlackRock Control Trillions in Capital
BlackRock and other giant asset managers like State Street have committed to voting on climate -- this spring's round of Annual General Meetings will show if they mean it.
What is an asset manager?
Asset managers pool the investments of individuals, corporations and governments and buy shares of all kinds of corporations. The three largest asset management firms- BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street - own a disproportionate share of companies engaged in climate disruption.
What do these asset managers have to do with us? Much of the money asset managers invest is actually public money -- i.e. taxpayer dollars. These taxpayer dollars are in the form of public pensions and other public investment funds. That gives us the right to demand that these asset managers invest in ways that protect our climate.
What Is "Voting for Climate"?
BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street collectively vote about 25% of shares at S&P 500 companies. Last year these three asset managers used that considerable voting power to back 99% of oil and gas and electric power company directors across the S&P 500, despite woefully inadequate action across those sectors to combat climate change.