World's Largest Asset Manager BlackRock Considering Gun-Free Investment Funds
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is turning up the heat on gun-makers and sellers in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting that left 17 dead and many injured.
The investment giant, which oversees $6 trillion in assets and has $21B worth of real estate under management, is exploring offering clients a choice of gun-free investment products that exclude firearm-makers and retailers, according to reports.
The firm is also taking steps to engage with gun manufacturers and retailers within its index portfolio to get a better understanding about business practices and the policies behind firearm sales.
“BlackRock manages money for a diverse set of investors, including pension plans, insurers and individual investors, who have a broad set of views on firearms. Over the past two weeks, we have reached out to our clients to help them understand their exposure to civilian firearms companies,” the company said in a statement released Friday. “We have a continuing dialogue with many clients and are helping them explore their options for altering or eliminating their firearms exposures.”
As for gun retailers in their portfolio, BlackRock wants to know how much firearm sales contribute to the companies’ overall revenue and what precautions retailers are taking to ensure their products are not being used to commit crimes.
Publicly traded firearm manufacturers Sturm Ruger, American Outdoor Brand and Vista Outdoor represent 0.01% of assets in BlackRock’s index equity product. Gun-maker shares have been down 5% to 20% since the Florida shooting, CNN reports.