BlackRock wins Best Investor Engagement Award

BlackRock wins Best Investor Engagement Award

Amra Balic, Managing Director

I have spent over 20 years working on issues surrounding investors and investment decisions, from financial analysis to corporate governance and stewardship. I learned early in my career that people (i.e. strong management teams and board members) are what differentiates successful companies from struggling ones. At BlackRock, we conduct stewardship as a fiduciary to our clients and we engage with companies on behalf of our clients, the majority of which are long-term investors.

This is why I am so pleased our team has been recognized and celebrated by ICSA The Chartered Governance Institute for providing the most constructive stewardship engagements 2019. Chosen amongst 20 leading UK Asset Managers, the Best Investor Engagement award is presented to the investor that FTSE350 company secretaries consider was responsible for the best stewardship engagement during the year. This recognition is an affirmation of our view that engagement is key to enhancing corporate governance policies and management practices in support of long-term value creation for our clients.

BlackRock Investment Stewardship (BIS) emphasizes engagement - direct dialogue - with companies on governance issues that have a material impact on long-term financial performance. Engagement with companies is critical to ensuring that we vote on an informed basis to protect our clients’ interests. 

This year we participated in over 2,000 engagements with nearly 1,500 companies. Engagement on non-routine, nuanced, and often complex issues takes considerable resources. We held multiple meetings with 25% of the companies we engaged. The continued investment in our team reflects the time we dedicate to our clients. We are now a team of 46 globally with a local presence in seven offices around the world.

As a global investor, we believe it is important to build relationships with companies, clients, policymakers, and others locally. It is also critical to have direct knowledge of the cultural, legal, and commercial contexts within which companies are operating. In our experience, the long-term relationships we have built through having local presence support more constructive dialogue with all market participants. 

Investment Stewardship is an important investment function at BlackRock. Core tenets of good governance — board oversight, minority shareholder rights, and management quality — are desirable qualities for all investors and can be a differentiating factor for investor decisions. As such, we work closely with BlackRock’s active portfolio management teams to deliver better outcomes for our clients. In January 2019, BIS began providing its views on companies to BlackRock investment teams via the Aladdin® platform, conferring regularly with BlackRock’s equity and credit analysts and portfolio managers to exchange key insights on material ESG topics.

This award means a lot to our team and we look forward to continuing our efforts and developing meaningful relationships with clients and companies through 2020 and beyond.

Amra Balic
Managing Director
Amra Balic, Managing Director, is Head of BlackRock's EMEA Investment Stewardship team based in London.
Read Our 2019 Stewardship Annual Report
Stewardship Annual Report

BlackRock was awarded the Best Investor Engagement Award by ICSA on 27 November 2019