Larry Fink: The Six-Trillion-Dollar Man And His Social Message
Well I’ve been writing these letters now for seven years. I think you’ve been reporting on for seven years. So it’s been an evolutionary process for me thinking about how can we help our investors have better long term returns. The question is did I regret adding that paragraph about purpose. No actually it was gnawing at me about the world we’re living in now where social media is really having a bigger and bigger impact on everything we do. And I it was pretty clear to me that the best companies who have persistence in terms of long term profitability are companies that are perceived by their employees by their clients that they have a purpose. And importantly what really transformed my thought process in 17 18 letter and I’m probably 60 percent done for my 19 letter. Now tell us about now. Let me give it a surprise.
Was the change in the mood related to globalism and the change in the mood from our employees.
Because more and more employees are millennials on the globalization front. It is very clear to me more and more countries are becoming nationalistic. We’re seeing we are seeing more extreme governments in many places we operate and it was very clear to me that for companies to really build a business a proper business and all the different parts of the world they have to show a purpose in those countries.
They have to have a license to operate in those countries so you must be Mexican in Mexico and German and Germany and Japanese and Japan and an American in the United States. So and then I took that and said also in our country and our communities you have to show that purpose. And I think what’s driving a lot of the change now at BlackRock over 50 percent of our employees are millennials are millennials are asking a lot more from from their company where they work a lot more than I ever have to when I was that age whether they’re smart or that I am back at the equivalent age or not.
But I do believe the demands from employees are very different than the demands years ago especially in a sub 4 percent unemployment rate. And so I think all of this has been part of that evolution.
Let me ask you this. This is Warren Buffett probably the most successful investor in history. He doesn’t agree with you. This is what he says. He says I don’t believe in imposing my views on 370000 employees and a million shareholders.
I’m not their nanny on that and I’m not in any other and I’m not posing any values because I’m not telling any company what their purpose should be. I’m not telling any company as to what they should be doing. But I do believe it’s up to the company to identify what their purposes. I think it’s important for the best companies to identify that. I think Warren in many ways does that through his through his his shareholder meetings I think they talk about all the things they’re doing. I think he in many ways does that he does does it in a different way. But I truly believe for companies to withstand the social media as the company used to show over the long time that profitability is secure is sustainable. I believe those who who really communicate with great transparency their purpose are going to be those.
Let me ask you about this Holeman Jenkins in The Wall Street Journal who I always find interesting says this about you says Mr. Fink is engaged in buying indulgences against the day that the political Furys.
DealBook 2018 Full Session Videos
DealBook 2018 : Introductory Remarks
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Nancy Dubuc – Media, Millennials and Our Cultural Vices
Rebecca Blumenstein – Task Force Report-Back: Ethical AI
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