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BlackRock Net-Zero Targets May Prove Net Positive for Activists

Partner Shaun Mathew spoke with The Deal about BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s 2021 annual letter to CEOs and its impact on companies’ ESG strategies. A recent report from Kirkland also noted that BlackRock had supported activist nominees in approximately 30 percent of proxy contests since 2012, and Fink’s letter underscores the importance for public companies to deepen relationships with their largest and longest-term investors.

“Shaun Mathew, partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, said BlackRock's letter seeks to send a message to the entire corporate world that the index fund manager believes essentially all corporations, not just oil and gas and other carbon-intensive companies, should be rethinking their business models to be compatible with a net-zero economy.”

“Mathew noted that corporations need to secure the support of BlackRock and other large long-term investors, considering that they face a continued threat of activism coupled with “unpredictable market dynamics” associated with the rapid rise of day-trading retail investors.”

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