A small activist fund has fired back at goliath investment firm BlackRock, calling for CEO Larry Fink to be ousted for the “hypocrisy” of pushing a “woke” political agenda.
Bluebell Capital — a London-based firm with just $250 million in assets, compared to nearly $8 trillion controlled by BlackRock — accused Fink of failing to adhere to environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.
“We see BlackRock endorsing a series of bad practices from a governance, social and environmental perspective that are inconsistent with what they say,” Bluebell founder Giuseppe Bivona told CNBC on Wednesday.
“Let me tell you, when the price of coal was around $76 a ton, BlackRock was talking about giving up completely,” Bivona continued. “Now that coal is $380 a ton, they’re talking about responsible ownership. “I think there is a high correlation between BlackRock’s coal strategy and coal prices.”
BlackRock denied Bivona’s allegations.
“Over the past 18 months, Bluebell has run a number of campaigns to promote its climate and governance agenda,” a BlackRock spokesperson told The Post. “BlackRock Investment Stewardship did not support their campaigns because we did not believe they were in the best economic interests of our clients.”
In one year annual letter Earlier this year, Fink preached to shareholders what he called “stakeholder capitalism” — which takes into account the needs of employees, customers, the environment and even the government — and criticized those who accused BlackRock of pushing a political agenda.
“Stakeholder capitalism is not about politics. It is not a social or ideological agenda. It’s not ‘woke,’” Fink wrote in a January letter.
In a Nov. 10 letter to BlackRock, Bluebell investors said they were concerned about “reputational risks (including greenwashing) that BlackRock, led by Larry Fink, has unreasonably exposed the company to.”
Bluebell owns less than 0.01% of BlackRock, BlackRock insiders told The Post on Wednesday. The source also pointed to BlackRock’s performance: shares have risen 4,900 percent since the company’s initial public offering in 1999. By comparison, the S&P 500 is up about 365 percent over the same period.
Given Bluebell’s size, the firm cannot affect change on its own.
However, BlackRock will likely continue to be correlated. Republicans, who have regained their majority in the House of Representatives, are looking to launch a series of investigations into companies that embrace “woke” values and ESG when they take office next year.
Earlier this month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis allocated $2 billion from the firm to state pension funds. And in August, BlackRock faced the withdrawal of nearly $1 billion from state treasurers fed up with the financial giant’s investment priorities.
19 state attorneys general, led by Arizona’s Mark Brnovich, led the Securities and Exchange Commission when it asked the agency to investigate BlackRock’s ties to China and whether it prioritized its fiduciary responsibilities to its investors. was placed.
The letter notes that even as BlackRock pushes US companies to become carbon-neutral, the firm invests in and does business with Chinese companies that don’t care about the environment.