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NextGen Magazine


BlackRock to Undergo Racial Audit

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Apr 6, 2021

BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, will undergo a racial audit as a result of a recent shareholder resolution, intended to determine how the firm may have contributed to racial inequities in the financial system, reported Crain's New York Business. The audit will be conducted by an independent third party, which will analyze the company's business model, including policies, products and services. The audit will begin sometime next year.

The Service Employees International Union, which partnered with firm CtW Investment Group to advance the resolution, said that BlackRock has blocked more shareholder resolutions addressing racial justice than any other company in 2020, despite its externally voiced commitment to such matters.

It seems this time, however, that the firm has chosen to put its money where its mouth is in agreeing to the independent audit. This is a marked contrast with numerous other companies that have faced similar shareholder resolutions, only to reject them. Amazon, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Johnson & Johnson are among those that are actively fighting such proposals. Lloyd's of London, meanwhile, said it too was engaging in a probe to determine the extent of its involvement with the Atlantic slave trade, although its own probe will be internal rather than independent.