NPR’s Ari Shapiro talks with Larry Fink — CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager — about his plan to put climate sustainability at the center of the company’s investment strategy.
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
The world’s largest asset manager is putting climate change at the center of its investment strategy. BlackRock oversees almost $7 trillion in investments. The founder and CEO, Larry Fink, made the announcement in his annual letters to clients and chief executives of the world’s largest companies. He said BlackRock will exit investments that present a high sustainability-related risk. He also said the company would launch new investment products that screen for fossil fuels.
I asked Larry Fink about his message to investors who might say, that’s all well and good, but you’re not maximizing my profits.
LARRY FINK: Well, in the United States, BlackRock as a fiduciary has to live under that mandate. That is – the ERISA rules in the United States that the No. 1 responsibility is to maximize return. This is one of the reasons why the United States is actually behind many places in the world that places sustainability much more prominent. We have also made a statement that we believe a sustainable portfolio will outperform or, indeed, will maximize your profits over a long period of time.