'Woke' asset manager Blackrock slammed for weak response to Ukraine


‘Woke’ asset manager Blackrock slammed for weak response to Ukraine crisis and £62m Russian divi


Blackrock has been slammed for its lacklustre response to the Ukraine crisis.

Chief executive Larry Fink has not yet put out a statement about Russia’s invasion and it has done little to condemn the violence Vladimir Putin is wreaking.

But the asset manager is in line to receive a £62million dividend from London-listed Polymetal, the Russian mining company set up by Putin crony Alexander Nesis.

Blackrock's chief exec Larry Fink (pictured) has done little to condemn the invasion and the violence Vladimir Putin is wreaking on Eastern Europe

Blackrock’s chief exec Larry Fink (pictured) has done little to condemn the invasion and the violence Vladimir Putin is wreaking on Eastern Europe

Blackrock, the second-largest shareholder behind Nesis, whose brother is the chief executive, last week increased its investment in the company.

The US asset manager has a stake in many of the world’s largest firms, including Russian titans Gazprom and Rosneft.

Blackrock in Russia

  • £963m Stake in Gazprom
  • £198m Holding in Polymetal
  • £168m Stake in Rosneft 

In his annual letter to bosses in January, Fink defended his focus on the environment, sustainability and other social issues and said firms must ‘create value for and be valued by’ society as well as investors.

David Morrison, ethical investing analyst at Trade Nation, said: ‘It does seem to fly in the face of what Mr Fink has been saying repeatedly and over a long period of time. 

You would think Mr Fink would make a statement on what the company is going to do going forward in reaction to the Russian invasion against Ukraine.’ 

Blackrock manages £7trillion of savers’ cash and has huge influence over the companies it invests in. 

It has suspended four Russia-exposed funds worth around £363million and said it is ‘taking all necessary actions’ to ensure it complies with sanctions laws and regulations. 

But its actions fall far short of other institutions’ pledges to cut ties with the Russia.

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