BlackRock, Inc. Public Policy Engagement and Political Participation Policies
As part of our responsibilities to our stockholders and clients, BlackRock advocates for public policies that we believe are in our stockholders’ and clients’ long-term best interests. We support regulation that increases financial market transparency, protects investors and facilitates responsible growth of capital markets, while preserving consumer choice and properly balancing benefits versus implementation costs. BlackRock comments on public policy topics through, among other things, our published ViewPoints, which examine public policy issues and assess their implications for investors, and through comment letters and consultation responses that we submit to policy makers. We believe in the value of open dialogue and transparency on these important issues; our position papers and letters are available on the News & Insights − Public Policy section of our website.
Public Policy Engagement
Governance of Public Policy Engagement
BlackRock believes that responsible corporate citizenship requires active engagement in legislative and regulatory processes. Our engagement with policy makers and advocacy on public policy issues is coordinated by our Government Relations and Public Policy team (“Public Policy”). Members of the Public Policy team work closely with the Company’s business and legal teams to identify legislative and regulatory priorities, both regionally and globally, that will protect investors, increase shareholder value and facilitate responsible economic growth.
The head of the Public Policy team is a member of the Company’s Global Executive and Operating Committees and regularly briefs these committees on our public policy priorities and related advocacy efforts. In addition, the head of Public Policy also attends the meetings of the Board’s Risk Committee and keeps Directors apprised of, and engaged in, the Company’s legislative and regulatory priorities and advocacy initiatives. The Public Policy team and executive leadership regularly meet with and exchange views on legislation and regulatory priorities with public officials and policy makers, regionally and globally, and provide such individuals with educational materials to help inform their decisions.
As part of the Company’s engagement in the public policy process, BlackRock participates in a number of trade organizations and industry groups, such as the Business Roundtable, the Investment Company Institute, the Financial Services Roundtable, the European Fund and Asset Management Association and the Alternative Investment Management Association. The Company makes payments to these organizations, including membership fees and/or dues. However, BlackRock does not control these entities and may not always be aware of the entities’ activities. We recognize that these organizations and groups represent numerous other companies and there may be instances where their positions on certain issues diverge from those of BlackRock.
As an asset manager, BlackRock focuses on issues that impact the asset management industry and the clients for whom we act as agent in managing assets. In general, BlackRock’s efforts are focused at the national or regional level, rather than at a state-specific level.
Our ability to engage policy makers and participate in the public policy arena is subject to extensive laws and regulations at the international, federal, state and local levels. Under United States federal law, BlackRock may not contribute corporate funds or make in-kind contributions to candidates for federal office or to national party committees. In addition to federal limits on corporate political action, our political contributions at the state and local level in the United States are governed by Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Rule G-37, SEC Rule 206(4)-5 and CFTC Rule 23.451, as well as applicable state and local law. Accordingly, BlackRock does not contribute corporate funds to candidates, political party committees, political action committees or any political organization exempt from federal income taxes under Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code. Although permitted under federal law, BlackRock has also voluntarily elected not to spend corporate funds directly on independent expenditures, including electioneering communications.
BlackRock maintains a federal political action committee (“PAC”) that is funded in accordance with applicable federal law on a voluntary basis by U.S.-based employees of the Company. The PAC makes contributions at the federal level on a bi-partisan basis consistent with the Company’s contribution policies and public policy goals and without regard to the private political preferences of management. As required by law, all political contributions by the PAC are reported to the Federal Election Commission and are publicly disclosed.
BlackRock maintains compliance processes designed to ensure that its activities are conducted in accordance with this policy and all relevant laws governing political contributions in the United States. All employees are required to annually review and acknowledge their compliance responsibilities regarding political contributions and must submit all of their proposed personal political contributions to our Legal and Compliance Department to determine if such contributions are consistent with applicable legal restrictions.