Advertisement
UK markets closed
  • FTSE 100

    8,420.26
    -18.39 (-0.22%)
     
  • FTSE 250

    20,749.90
    -72.94 (-0.35%)
     
  • AIM

    794.02
    +1.52 (+0.19%)
     
  • GBP/EUR

    1.1678
    +0.0023 (+0.20%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2706
    +0.0035 (+0.28%)
     
  • Bitcoin GBP

    53,089.55
    +218.11 (+0.41%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,372.97
    -0.87 (-0.06%)
     
  • S&P 500

    5,303.27
    +6.17 (+0.12%)
     
  • DOW

    40,003.59
    +134.21 (+0.34%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    80.00
    +0.77 (+0.97%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    2,419.80
    +34.30 (+1.44%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    38,787.38
    -132.88 (-0.34%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    19,553.61
    +177.08 (+0.91%)
     
  • DAX

    18,704.42
    -34.39 (-0.18%)
     
  • CAC 40

    8,167.50
    -20.99 (-0.26%)
     

BlackRock boss steps up security after anti-woke backlash

Larry Fink
Last year BlackRock spent $217,000 on bodyguards for its chief executive Larry Fink - Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

BlackRock spent nearly $800,000 (£647,000) last year on security for its chief executive Larry Fink following a backlash by activists over the company’s “woke” stance on investing.

The world’s biggest asset manager spent $564,000 upgrading security systems at Mr Fink’s home and $217,000 on bodyguards in 2023, according to a filing earlier this month that was first reported by the Financial Times.

It comes after a wave of criticism aimed at BlackRock, which manages $10.5 trillion on behalf of investors.

As a leading voice in the so-called environmental, social and governance (ESG) movement, the business has repeatedly used its clout to push for more diverse boardrooms and tougher action on climate change.

ADVERTISEMENT

Mr Fink, a 71-year-old billionaire who sets out his views on social issues in a widely read letter every year, has come under personal attack from Republicans in the US.

Former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy called him “the king of the woke industrial complex [and] the ESG movement”.

Entrepreneur and former US 2024 Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy
Former US presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy used his platform to publicly attack Larry fink - ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images

Meanwhile, climate activists have repeatedly protested outside of BlackRock’s offices calling for the asset manager to pull out of fossil fuel investments entirely.

BlackRock set up personal security plans for Mr Fink and company president Robert Kapito in 2022 after they were recommended in a study by a consultant.

It said the security services were in the interests of the company and its shareholders owing to the critical value provided by Mr Fink and Mr Kapito.

Other large businesses also increased spending on security for chief executives last year.

Disney’s 2023 compensation package for chief Bob Iger included $1.2m in security costs, up from $830,000 in the previous year.

Meanwhile, investment bank JP Morgan spent $151,000 on security for chief executive Jamie Dimon during 2023, a nearly fourfold increase from 2022.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer paid $789,000 for security services for chief executive Albert Bourla.

Mr Fink said in his annual Chairman’s letter to investors: “There are many people with opinions about how we should manage our clients’ money. But the money doesn’t belong to these people. It’s not ours either. It belongs to our clients, and our responsibility and our duty is to them.”