Larry Fink, the investment manager who oversees nearly trillion at BlackRock, set off a yearlong conversation among business leaders and policymakers last January when he wrote a letter to chief executives declaring that companies needed to do more than make profits.
Mr. Fink wrote that it was crucial that businesses also made “a positive contribution to society” — and that he planned to hold them to account.
Coming from the world’s largest investor, the letter was seen as an inflection point in the long-simmering argument over the state of global capitalism. Chief executives began explicitly talking about their companies’ “purpose” — not just in high-minded mission statements but in government filings and investor reports. Others bristled at Mr. Fink’s challenge.
Late Wednesday, chief executives received a new missive from Mr. Fink that will almost certainly stir up an even louder debate. Businesses, he wrote, cannot merely have a purpose. They must be leaders in a divided world.
“Stakeholders are pushing companies to wade into sensitive social and political issues — especially as they see governments failing to do so effectively,” he wrote in his new letter, which was obtained from a recipient.
As this column has chronicled, the business world has been tested over the past year, feeling pressure to take sides on everything from climate change to gun control to whether do business with the Pentagon.
Executives faced moral questions over working with foreign governments, like the seminal moment when executives had to choose whether they would stand shoulder to shoulder with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, at a conference after the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Much of the business community backed out of the event at the risk of upsetting relationships and business with the House of Saud.
“As a C.E.O. myself, I feel firsthand the pressures companies face in today’s polarized environment and the challenges of effectively navigating them,” Mr. Fink wrote.
His letter is a continued explanation of his evolving view of the role of business, one that last year prompted Barron’s to call him “the new conscience of Wall Street.”
BlackRock has used its heft to promote policy change in the past year, including voting for a shareholder resolution that required the gun maker Sturm, Ruger & Company to be more transparent about the safety of its products.
In some respects, Mr. Fink is limited in what he can do. Much of BlackRock’s holdings are through 401(k) plans in index funds, and the company isn’t able to sell specific companies whose policies it might disagree with. But it recently introduced a series of socially responsible investment funds that exclude entire industries, such as tobacco, firearms or coal.
The letter is also a defense against those who criticized him over last year’s letter.
“I didn’t know Larry Fink had been made God,” the real estate billionaire Sam Zell said the day after Mr. Fink’s letter was sent last year. And Warren Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, said he did not believe it was the role of investors to push their views in the way Mr. Fink suggested.
“I don’t believe in imposing my political opinions on the activities of our businesses,” Mr. Buffett said last year.
In Mr. Fink’s latest letter, he wrote that he had “no intention” of telling companies what their purpose should be. “Rather, we seek to understand how a company’s purpose informs its strategy and culture to underpin sustainable financial performance,” he wrote.
He also pushed against the notion, long espoused by the economist Milton Friedman, that a company’s only social responsibility is its profits.
“Profits are in no way inconsistent with purpose,” Mr. Fink wrote. He added, “Purpose is not the sole pursuit of profits but the animating force for achieving them.”
Executives, according to Mr. Fink, must be prepared to think about social considerations as they encounter a new generation of workers, managers and investors.
“With unemployment improving across the globe, workers, not just shareholders, can and will have a greater say in defining a company’s purpose, priorities and even the specifics of its business,” he wrote.
Although Mr. Fink did not offer examples, the past year did provide them. Employees at Google held walkouts over the company’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations against top executives and staged a separate protest that ended its role in the Pentagon’s Project Maven, which uses artificial intelligence to interpret video images and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes.
“This phenomenon will only grow as millennials and even younger generations occupy increasingly senior positions in business,” Mr. Fink wrote. He pointed to a survey by Deloitte that asked millennials what businesses should try to achieve. “Improve society” was chosen by 63 percent more respondents than “generate profit.”
Mr. Fink also suggested that the millennial generation’s priorities would change the very metrics that were used for investing.
“This generation will drive not only their decisions as employees but also as investors, with the world undergoing the largest transfer of wealth in history: trillion from baby boomers to millennials,” he wrote. “As this wealth shifts and investing preferences change, environmental, social and governance issues will increasingly material to corporate valuations.”
While companies must look forward, Mr. Fink suggested they also look back to a time when they were leaders in preparing workers for retirement. Surprisingly, he said the move toward defined contribution plans — like the 401(k) plans that BlackRock oversees — along with longer life expectancy meant more workers would not be financially ready to retire.
“This lack of preparedness for retirement is fueling enormous anxiety and fear, undermining productivity in the workplace and amplifying populism in the political sphere,” he wrote, although he did not call for a return to traditional pension plans.
For all his talk about purpose, Mr. Fink has also been criticized in some quarters for not using his influence enough. Various advocacy groups have called for BlackRock to sell its shares in certain industries, like oil companies.
That was the subject of a fake version of Mr. Fink’s letter that was sent out Wednesday morning and was convincing enough to prompt The Financial Times to quote it in a since-retracted story. The letter, which pointed to a website that mimicked BlackRock’s, said BlackRock planned to sell its shares in fossil fuel companies and would screen out businesses that were not in compliance with the Paris climate agreement.
While Mr. Fink can take some comfort in knowing that his letter has become enough of an annual event in corporate America to inspire a spoof, the bogus letter’s position on climate change is one that some of his critics would happily endorse.
Those critics, and their counterparts who criticize Mr. Fink for thinking beyond his investments’ immediate bottom line, will never be satisfied with the positions he takes.
But whether you view his letter as empty virtue signaling or as a heavy-handed attack on traditional business practices, he has helped create and continue a conversation and debate that is undoubtedly positive.B:
“【就】【是】【拿】【着】【鸡】【毛】【当】【令】【箭】【又】【怎】【么】【样】？【你】【有】【吗】？” 【云】【溪】【从】【屏】【风】【后】【出】【来】，【身】【穿】【着】【一】【身】【淡】【紫】【色】【的】【衣】【裙】，【嘴】【角】【扬】【起】【一】【抹】【似】【笑】【非】【笑】【的】【笑】【容】。 “【你】【你】【竟】【敢】【穿】【紫】【色】！！【好】【大】【的】【胆】【子】！！”**【看】【着】【云】【溪】【身】【上】【的】【衣】【裙】，【露】【出】【了】【震】【惊】【的】【表】【情】，【眸】【底】【闪】【过】【一】【抹】【幸】【灾】【乐】【祸】【的】【神】【色】。 【呵】，【竟】【敢】【穿】【尊】【上】【专】【属】【的】【紫】【色】，【这】【个】【云】【溪】
“【是】【谁】？”【苏】【渔】【高】【声】【问】【道】，【快】【速】【抓】【过】【毛】【巾】【裹】【在】【身】【上】【然】【后】【披】【了】【一】【件】【衣】【服】，【水】【珠】【沿】【着】【小】【腿】【曲】【线】【滑】【下】，【滴】【答】【落】【在】【地】【上】。 【外】【面】【没】【有】【人】【说】【话】，【但】【是】【敲】【门】【声】【依】【旧】【在】【继】【续】。 【世】【界】【很】【安】【静】，【安】【静】【的】【几】【乎】【诡】【异】。【面】【对】【不】【间】【断】【的】【敲】【门】【声】，【这】【让】【苏】【渔】【想】【起】【了】【在】【那】【个】【无】【人】【村】【庄】【的】【那】【一】【晚】，【提】【心】【吊】【胆】，【无】【法】【入】【睡】。 “【是】【谁】？”【她】【又】【问】【了】【一】www.xg7788.com【路】【人】【甲】：“【听】【见】【了】【吗】？【炼】【丹】【堂】【刻】【意】【打】【压】【清】【风】【寨】，【诬】【蔑】【清】【风】【寨】【抄】【袭】【生】【产】【假】【药】，【把】【他】【们】【的】【清】【风】【百】【清】【丹】【给】【封】【杀】【了】，【这】【就】【是】【炼】【丹】【堂】【的】【嘴】【脸】！” 【炮】【灰】【乙】：“【想】【不】【到】【堂】【堂】【炼】【丹】【堂】【也】【净】【做】【这】【些】【苟】【且】【之】【事】，【不】【好】【好】【研】【究】【丹】【药】【便】【罢】【了】，【还】【去】【诬】【告】【封】【杀】【他】【人】，【简】【直】【太】【放】【肆】【了】！” 【流】【氓】【丙】：“【诶】，【我】【跟】【你】【们】【讲】【啊】，【根】【据】【小】【道】【消】【息】【说】，【炼】【丹】
“【你】【该】【死】！” 【问】【天】【看】【着】【洛】【基】，【一】【字】【一】【顿】【的】【说】【道】。 【而】【洛】【基】【则】【是】【无】【所】【谓】【的】【笑】【了】【笑】。 【不】【知】【为】【何】，【见】【到】【问】【天】【如】【此】【暴】【怒】【他】【就】【格】【外】【的】【开】【心】。 【这】【或】【许】【就】【是】【将】【自】【己】【的】【快】【乐】【建】【立】【在】【别】【人】【的】【痛】【苦】【之】【上】【吧】。 “【呵】，【本】【来】【想】【跟】【你】【好】【好】【说】【话】【的】，【你】【偏】【不】【要】…【现】【在】【怪】【我】【来】【了】。【真】【是】【讽】【刺】【呢】。” 【两】【人】【交】【谈】【的】【时】【候】，【所】【处】【的】【这】【栋】【女】
【叶】【凌】【风】【这】【副】“【事】【不】【关】【己】【高】【高】【挂】【起】”【的】【态】【度】【让】【众】【人】【看】【得】【是】【一】【愣】【一】【愣】【的】。 【这】【个】【家】【伙】【是】【在】【心】【中】【笃】【定】【自】【己】【肯】【定】【是】【不】【会】【有】【事】【的】，【还】【是】【他】【真】【的】【神】【经】【大】【条】【啊】！ 【此】【时】【在】【众】【人】【的】【心】【里】【都】【冒】【出】【了】【这】【样】【的】【一】【个】【想】【法】，【但】【很】【快】【的】，【众】【人】【便】【将】【这】【个】【念】【头】【从】【自】【己】【的】【脑】【海】【中】【驱】【逐】【了】【出】【去】。 【如】【今】【情】【况】【未】【明】，【哪】【里】【还】【有】【时】【间】【顾】【及】【一】【个】【无】【关】【紧】【要】【的】【小】
【晚】【风】【微】【微】【拂】【动】，【隐】【隐】【传】【来】【男】【人】【隐】【忍】【的】【哭】【声】~ “【阿】【辰】，【别】【哭】，”【米】【娅】【努】【力】【强】【撑】【着】【沉】【重】【的】【眼】【皮】，【沾】【了】【血】【的】【手】【指】【抚】【上】【他】【的】【脸】【颊】。 【林】【辰】【握】【着】【她】【冰】【凉】【的】【手】【指】，【也】【不】【知】【是】【为】【了】【安】【慰】【她】，【还】【是】【安】【慰】【自】【己】，【努】【力】【压】【着】【内】【心】【的】【恐】【惧】，【喋】【喋】【不】【休】【道】，“【嗯】，【嗯】，【我】【可】【以】【救】【你】，【我】【可】【以】【救】【你】，【取】【一】【颗】【子】【弹】【而】【已】，【米】【米】，【答】【应】【我】，【撑】【住】【好】【吗】
“【哇】，【夫】【人】【太】【伟】【大】【了】！”【上】【班】【路】【上】【的】【陆】【璃】，【高】【兴】【得】【把】【车】【都】【快】【飞】【起】【来】【了】。 “【谁】【说】【不】【是】【呢】，【来】【来】【来】，【我】【们】【商】【量】【一】【下】，【今】【天】【谁】【休】！”【许】【靳】【西】【兴】【奋】【的】【说】【道】。 “【我】！”【陆】【璃】【立】【即】【毛】【遂】【自】【荐】，【因】【为】【他】【想】【到】【了】【昨】【天】【的】【事】【情】，【打】【算】【躲】【一】【下】。 “【你】【这】【个】【混】【蛋】，【本】【少】【不】【要】【跟】【你】【做】【朋】【友】【了】！”【许】【靳】【西】【暴】【走】，【友】【谊】【的】【小】【船】【说】【翻】【就】【翻】。