"BlackRock" responds

Advisory: Hoax Letter Not from BlackRock CEO

Company Release - 1/16/2019 5:00 PM ET

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- On January 16, an unidentified party sent an email to the news media and several thousand BlackRock employees containing what looked like Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Laurence D. Fink’s Annual Letter to CEOs. This was in fact a hoax designed to confuse journalists and the public by claiming that BlackRock advocates an environmentalist agenda.

The hoax letter contains false and misleading statements about BlackRock’s plans to screen out of all investments companies that do not comply with the Paris Climate Agreement, forcing investors to actively opt-into coal, oil, and gas stocks. Further, it claims that BlackRock will transform its shareholder engagement by pressuring companies toward Paris-compliance and long-term sustainability.

These policy changes, although admirable in intent, are at odds with near-term profitability. While similar initiatives have been considered by BlackRock, they remain exploratory, pending further risk analysis and greater investor and public demand.

BlackRock seriously evaluates risks that climate change poses to economic stability, and engages with companies we invest in to prioritize long-term sustainability.

Mr. Fink’s annual letter to CEOs has not yet been released.