Larry Fink's 2019 Letter to CEOs
Following his last letter to CEO’s in 2018 (“Sense of Purpose”), Larry Fink (CEO Black Rock) has now issued his 2019 letter (Purpose and Profit). 2018’s letter came has a surprising one, not expected by the investor’s community and it constituted a “eyes opener” for many (see my blog link https://www.nmcleaders.com/blog/sense-of-purpose).
This year’s letter has the tremendous merit of following exactly the same path, deepening and confirming the concept that “profits and purpose are inextricably linked”. Some key points he makes:
-”Stakeholders are pushing companies to wade into sensitive social and political issues – especially as they see governments failing to do so effectively”
- “Unnerved by fundamental economic changes and the failure of government to provide lasting solutions, society is increasingly looking to companies, both public and private, to address pressing social and economic issues”.
- “Purpose unifies management, employees, and communities. It drives ethical behavior and creates an essential check on actions that go against the best interests of stakeholders”.
-”Companies that fulfill their purpose and responsibilities to stakeholders reap rewards over the long-term. Companies that ignore them stumble and fail”.
Yet again, this is someone in charge of running assets worth $7 trillion. We better listen when he speaks. As the saying in Wall Street goes “there is one before and one after the 2018 letter”. Indeed we have seen many Corporations revisiting their strategies in order to, once and for all, include Sustainability at the core of their businesses.
I have no doubt that 2019 will strength that movement.