The world’s largest fund manager said it held more than 2,300 conversations with company executives on climate and natural capital in the year ended June 30, up from 1,200 in the prior year.
While recognizing “incremental” improvement in BlackRock’s voting record, Majority Action, a nonprofit shareholder advocacy group, said the firm needs to “substantially enhance its voting and engagement strategies to protect its clients, company stakeholders and long-term shareholders overall” against the climate crisis and other systemic risks such as racial inequality.
BlackRock said it voted against the re-election of 1,862 directors at 975 companies because of a lack of board diversity. Following the racial injustice protests last year, the world’s largest asset manager said it may vote against directors at companies that aren’t diversifying their ranks.
BlackRock said it declined to back the re-election of 2,222 directors at 1,327 companies due to a lack of independence, and withdrew support for 758 directors at 639 corporations because they had too many commitments.
The company said it voted against management on 33% of “Say on Pay” proposals — which are votes on executive pay — in Europe, Middle East and Africa, compared with 26% in the previous year.