ISS recommends shareholders vote against BlackRock CEO’s pay proposal

By Thomson Reuters Apr 29, 2024 | 9:35 AM

(Reuters) – Proxy advisory firm ISS on Monday recommended that shareholders vote against proposal to ratify BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s 2023 compensation.

The proxy advisor said Fink’s pay package totaling roughly $27 million for the year is higher than the industry’s median pay for CEOs.

“While the majority of equity awards are based on clearly disclosed multi-year goals that appear reasonably rigorous, there are significant concerns regarding the process used to determine annual cash incentive awards,” ISS said in a report.

Fink, who co-founded BlackRock in 1988, has been under scrutiny in recent years over the company’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies, with lawmakers in the Republican camp accusing it of over-emphasizing sustainability issues.

London-based activist investor Bluebell Capital Partners has also proposed an amendment to the company’s bylaws to require the chairman be an independent director. ISS recommended that shareholders vote against the proposal.

Assets at BlackRock hit a record $10.5 trillion in the first quarter and the world’s largest asset manager posted a 36% jump in profit as rising global equity markets boosted its investment advisory and administration fees.

(Reporting by Manya Saini in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)