BlackRock's landmark move on proxy votes fuels big ESG debate

A BlackRock decision to give some of its biggest clients more power to vote at shareholder meetings just added a new twist to the raging debate at the heart of ESG investing.


The world's largest asset manager revealed on Thursday that from next year, some institutional clients will be able to play a bigger role in shareholder votes. The move will apply to about 40 percent of USD 4.8tn in index equity assets that BlackRock manages.

The decision to give index investors more influence comes as the firm predicts a "vast reallocation" of capital into environmental, social and governance strategies. But amid the boom, there remain big questions over what constitutes an effective ESG approach. 

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