The new age of the socially active asset management firm is here. This year, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management firm and “a powerful force in Corporate America with $5.1 trillion under management.” is joining the socially conscious movement. According to CNBC the company is planning “to put new pressure on companies to explain themselves on issues including how climate change could affect their business as well as boardroom diversity.”
Michelle Edkins is set to oversee the outreach effort, heading up a 30 person team focused on assessing climate change operation risk, and boardroom diversity plans. “Edkins cited the example of how rising ocean levels could swamp a real estate company’s valuable beachfront property.” Although the company is looking to promote more responsibility on its invested organizations, it has stated it will not micromanage its operations. The new social initiative has already taken root for Blackrock, who last year opposed an Exxon Mobil resolution to support public policies “curbing climate change.”
The atmosphere of investment funds supporting companies that are environmental, social, and culturally responsible is growing. With investment organizations like Blackrock and State Street Corp taking these initiative to higher ground, it is only a matter of time before this niche becomes an industry standard.