With the Biden Administration friendly to sustainable investing,
is making a push to offer those types of investments to retirement plans, CEO
said in an interview.
“We are working with many 401(k) plans to say, ‘Would you like to have a twist on something different than the Russell 3000 or the S&P 500? We’re trying to provide more choice, different funds if they choose to provide more sustainable products,” Fink said.
“We don’t know what the administration is going to do,” Fink added. “We’re moving forward with building our analytics and data so we can be a fiduciary around the idea that climate risk is investment risk.”
The Labor Department said it won’t enforce controversial Trump-era rules that would have dragged on the adoption of sustainable-investing practices. One critical rule, approved in October, limits the ability of workplace retirement plans to offer sustainable investments, so that plan sponsors and other fiduciaries would need to choose investments based solely on so-called pecuniary, or financial, factors that “are expected to have a material effect on risk.”
“We’re heavily positioning our platform with sustainable products across different investment vehicles and we’re very focused on offering proper reporting,” Fink said. “The dialogues we’re having with so many 401(k) plans is really broad. We’re not trying to say you can’t invest in the S&P 500. It’s about providing an alternative product that maybe closely approximates that S&P 500 or the Russell 3000.”
BlackRock has made a successful push into sustainable investing. Recently, it introduced the BlackRock U.S. Carbon Transition Readiness ETF (LCTU), in what is the largest exchange-traded fund launch ever. It also unveiled a partnership with Singapore’s sovereign-wealth fund, Temasek, to invest in decarbonization solutions.
Fink spoke to Barron’s after BlackRock reported that first-quarter earnings jumped, and assets under management soared 39% to $9 trillion for the quarter, as markets continued to emerge from the pandemic-related rout a year earlier.
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