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A Special Session with BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink

May 13, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

About this meeting

The largest asset manager in the world is changing how finance professionals think about their duty to act in the best interest of others.
In a one-on-one with NeuGroup Founder and CEO Joseph Neu, BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink will share his perspectives on how the pandemic has accelerated deeper trends to encourage more companies to embrace their responsibilities to serve all stakeholders and address climate change with courage and conviction. He will then take questions from members on this important mindset change taking place in finance.

Background:
Drawing on the themes from Mr. Fink’s 2021 letter to CEOs, this session will draw out for reflection these key items:

  • Our climate has also emerged in this crisis as something we all feel a stake in and thus mother nature has become a leading stakeholder in almost every company.
  • Climate risk is not only investment risk, but more importantly investments that promote sustainability and the net zero transition represent the greatest investment opportunity for the next generations.
  • This idea that sustainability and deeper connections to stakeholder drives better returns, moreover, is becoming mainstream. This builds on the theme of Mr. Fink’s earlier conversations with NeuGroup members on Purposeful companies—i.e., those with a stated corporate purpose that often reflects on a quality ESG profile, and that look after all stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate— that have been shown to outperform their peers.
  • Thus, a fiduciary responsibility to benefit all stakeholders, including our climate, in no way compromises the traditional thinking about the fiduciary duty to maximize firm value for shareholders. Shareholders, and fixed income investors, increasingly recognize a “sustainability premium,” that equates a commitment to purpose and stakeholder returns with long-term durable profits for shareholders.

This is a profound change in mindset that has only begun to register with treasurers and other corporate finance professionals who have been taught to uphold their fiduciary responsibility and pursue the best risk-adjusted financial return for shareholders (and preserving their credit standing with bond investments) above all else. The world’s largest asset manager, representing the views of a growing majority of the world’s investors, is saying it is ok to change your thinking. This session with Mr. Fink aims to help more mindsets change without degradation of your sense of fiduciary duty. To the contrary, to invest in racial justice, economic equality, community engagement or climate sustainability is to act responsibly in the eye of investors seeking to maximize their returns for the long term.

Meeting type

This Virtual interactive Session (VIS) is meant for members of the NeuGroup for Mega-Cap and NeuGroup for Tech Treasurers only. VIS are usually on topics that interest the broader NeuGroup network, and can develop into series or working groups to continue the conversation further. NeuGroup has conducted dozens of these sessions since their origination in response to Covid-19 in 2020.

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