In his 2022 letter to CEOs, BlackRock chief executive Larry Fink wrote: “Divesting from entire sectors – or simply passing carbon-intensive assets from public markets to private markets – will not get the world to net zero. And BlackRock does not pursue divestment from oil and gas companies as a policy.” 

In this episode of the ESG Insider podcast, we’re talking to the world’s largest asset manager about its approach to engaging with companies, including those in carbon-intensive sectors. We interview Victoria Gaytan, Vice President at BlackRock Investment Stewardship, the team responsible for engaging with companies and for proxy voting on clients’ behalf.  

Victoria tells us about BlackRock’s engagement priorities for 2022, and what to expect from the upcoming proxy season. She also describes how the firm’s expectations of corporate boards are evolving on a range of ESG issues, from diversity to climate change to executive compensation.  

“We look to boards to have a clear understanding of how executive leadership instills the company's strategy and purpose into day-to-day operations, and how it seeks to ensure that corporate culture is experienced as intended across workforce and the company's key stakeholders,” Victoria tells us. 

We'd love to hear from you. To give us feedback on this episode or share ideas for future episodes, please contact hosts Lindsey Hall ([email protected]) and Esther Whieldon ([email protected]). 

Photo credit: BlackRock Inc.

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