Last year, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink announced the global investment firm’s intention to consider companies’ social missions in determining who would get their investment dollars. Phil Brown, Intelligize’s Chief Strategy Officer, shares how this move indicated a growing wave of third-party stakeholders exerting influence over organizations.

It was the shot heard ‘round the business world: In a 2018 letter to CEOs, BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink announced that the world’s largest investment firm would evaluate companies based on their social impact, not just their bottom lines.

“Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose,” Fink said. “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society. Companies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers and the communities in which they operate.”

When a firm with $6 trillion in managed assets speaks, Corporate America listens. And BlackRock is not a lone voice. Today, a cross-section of vocal stakeholders – including institutional investors, proxy advisors and employees – who lack the authority of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to…


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