BlackRock boss steps up security after anti-woke backlash

BlackRock spent nearly $800,000 (£647,000) last year on security for its chief executive Larry Fink following a backlash by activists over the company’s “woke” stance on investing. The world’s biggest asset manager spent $564,000 upgrading security systems at Mr Fink’s home and $217,000 on bodyguards in 2023, according to a filing earlier this month that was first reported by the Financial Times. It comes after a wave of criticism aimed at BlackRock, which manages $10.5 trillion on behalf of investors. As a leading voice in the so-called environmental, social and governance (ESG) movement, the business has repeatedly used its clout to push for more diverse boardrooms and tougher action on climate change. Mr Fink, a 71-year-old billionaire who sets out his views on social issues in a widely read letter every year, has come under personal attack from Republicans in the US. Former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy called him “the king of the woke industrial complex [and] the ESG movement”. Meanwhile, climate activists have repeatedly protested outside of BlackRock’s offices calling for the asset manager to pull out of fossil fuel investments entirely. BlackRock set up personal security plans for Mr Fink and company president Robert Kapito in 2022 after they were recommended in a study...

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