- BlackRock Inc BLK said that clients owning nearly half of its $4.9 trillion in equity index assets could control vote casting at the annual meetings of the companies in which their funds invest, Reuters reported.
- The move marks an expansion of BlackRock's 'Voting Choice' program, launched last October, and could offer institutional clients more say on topics that matter to them, Reuters reported.
- "While BlackRock's Voting Choice program is an industry first, we see it as just a beginning," Salim Ramji, Global Head of iShares and Index Investments, said.
- "Our ambition is to make voting choice convenient and efficient for all investors, and we are working with policymakers and industry participants worldwide to extend voting choice for our clients."
- At the time of launch, clients owning around 40% of BlackRock's equity index assets through U.S. or U.K. segregated mandates or some pooled investments were eligible for the freedom to vote their shares at an AGM.
- Now the same choice will be offered to those invested in Canadian and Irish pooled funds and additional U.K. clients.
- Since launch, clients holding $120 billion of assets have opted to take control of the voting process.
- Price Action: BLK shares closed 6.39% lower at $618.36 on Friday.
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