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Friday, October 09, 2015

Fink Takes Some of BlackRock's Own Advice

News summary by MFWire's editors

Larry Fink is taking some of the same advice that BlackRock [profile] often gives to companies that its funds invest in.

This week the New York City-based, publicly-traded asset management giant revealed plans to grant proxy access rights for investor groups who hold at least three percent of BlackRock's shares. If shareholders approve the idea, it'll be easier for them to nominate candidates for BlackRock's board.

Ross Kerber of Reuters notes that, unlike at some other big mutual fund shops, BlackRock funds "have mainly voted in support of the proxy access proposals" at their own portfolio companies. And BlackRock owns shares in a lot of companies: it's the largest asset manager in the world, with $4.7 trillion in AUM as of June 30, and a big chunk of that is in ETFs which invest across indexes.

Fink, who is chairman, CEO, and co-founder of BlackRock, put the move into the context of his board and management team's "long-term focus."

"We continually evaluate our governance policies to ensure they reflect the latest best practices, and we are pleased to propose proxy access for shareholders with true long-term economic ownership," Fink states.

As the Bard puts it, "It is a good divine that follows his own instructions." 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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