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BlackRock backtracks on proxy support

BlackRock has flagged an ESG-lite agenda ahead of the 2022 corporate proxy-voting season. In a note published last week, the BlackRock Investment Stewardship (BIS) group says the US$10 trillion manager – the world’s largest – will direct its considerable proxy power in favour of fewer shareholder proposals this year as companies face votes on more…

David Chaplin | 13th May 2022 | More
Why greenwashing stains (and won’t wash out)

Regulators won’t be able to scrub out environmental, social and governance (ESG) ‘greenwashing’ in the investment industry, according to influential US finance academic, Aswath Damodaran. In a blistering attack on the ESG investing sector last month, Damodaran says greenwashing – or falsely marketing funds as sustainable (or the like) – is an indelible feature of…

David Chaplin | 8th Apr 2022 | More
It’s the end of the world (as we know it)

Fifteen years ago, Thomas Friedman said that globalisation had finally made the world “flat” and that a golden age of prosperity was upon us. A month ago, that stopped being true. Love him or loathe him (and many lean towards the latter), Thomas Friedman occasionally hits the nail on the head. In his 2005 book…

Lachlan Maddock | 25th Mar 2022 | More
  • ‘You want to be on the right side of it’: State Street prepares for a post-YFYS world

    As merger activity continues apace, State Street – armed with its “unique” front-to-back solution – intends to take a dominant position as custodian of choice for the biggest end of town. The super industry and its custodians are now exiting a period of relative stability. The number of funds has more than halved in the…

    Lachlan Maddock | 11th Mar 2022 | More
    Big super gets its Russia marching orders, but selling isn’t simple

    Plenty of big super funds have announced their intention to dump their Russian assets, and the government wants them to. But saying do svidanya is harder than they thought. From a certain angle, there’s a lot of Russia in the super system. Once ruled by unapologetic socialists, they’ve both become capitalistic in the aftermath of…

    Lachlan Maddock | 4th Mar 2022 | More
    Markets enter a new era of confusion

    BlackRock has a message for investors trying to navigate the confusion that has sundered markets in recent weeks: get used to it. Rising inflation was enough to give markets the jitters; tack on a war – and the prospect of an even bigger one, should the situation in Ukraine devolve further – and all the…

    Lachlan Maddock | 2nd Mar 2022 | More
  • ‘Wretched excess’ and index emperors: Munger takes aim

    The near-centenarian investor believes that institutions like BlackRock and Vanguard will wield outsize power in the market, and that our latest period of “wretched excess” will end with a bang. As passive investing becomes the go-to for a new wave of dumb money, Wall Street’s masters of the universe have been replaced with the emperors…

    Lachlan Maddock | 23rd Feb 2022 | More
    Fink calls for proxy power to the people

    Larry Fink wants to make capitalism a force for good. A new proxy advice initiative could be one step in the right direction. Stakeholder capitalism is not about politics,” writes BlackRock CEO Larry Fink in his 2022 letter to CEOs. in his  It is not a social or ideological agenda. It is not “woke.” It is…

    Lachlan Maddock | 25th Jan 2022 | More
  • Traditional managers eye hedge fund space

    Big and traditional managers are encroaching further on the space of alternative managers, gauging by winners and finalists at the sector’s annual awards on Friday night. The Australian Alternative Investment Awards, held in conjunction with the Hedge Funds Rock charity night at the Sydney Hilton, December 10, represented a welcome live, and lively, event for…

    Lachlan Maddock | 11th Dec 2021 | More
    Different shades of BlackRock: ASB, AMP wins cast mega-manager in NZ spotlight

    BlackRock, the biggest investment house in the known universe, now holds sway over about a quarter of the NZ retail fund market after cementing a deal with ASB last week to oversee some $20 billion. The ASB move to outsource most investment decisions to BlackRock coincides with the transition of an estimated $10 billion of…

    David Chaplin | 23rd Jul 2021 | More
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