At a Bloomberg new event at Davos, Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock (NYSE:BLK), the world’s biggest asset manager, said the company lost around $4 billion in assets in 2022 under management due to political backlash against environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing in the United States.
Meanwhile, the company took in $230 billion over from U.S. clients. Despite the fact that the inflows dwarfed the losses, Fink said he was taking the issue “very seriously” and was trying to “address the misconceptions.”
Republican-run Florida, Louisiana and Missouri have all said they plan to pull investment mandates from the company, citing concerns including that BlackRock’s ESG efforts could impact investor returns. Some of those criticizing the company have pointed to its efforts to encourage companies to transition to a low-carbon economy in the fight against climate change as an attack on the fossil fuel industry.
“It’s hard,” Fink says. “Because it’s not business… they’re doing it in a personal way. For the first time in my professional career, attacks are now personal. They’re trying to demonize issues.”
Fink added that companies without a lens toward transitioning to a low-carbon economy will not win any business in Europe. Moves by the U.S. government to finance a faster shift in the world’s biggest economy, through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), were also a “game changer,” Fink said.