In the wake of the Parkland, Florida high school gun shooting that took the lives of 17 people, amid rising pressure from its investor clients, BlackRock, has now created options for its investors who do not wish to invest in gun manufacturers and gun retailers. Recall in our previous blog post, BlackRock stepped up its engagement to press gun makers and retailers on this issue which has now prompted BlackRock to take action in a meaningful way. According to this WaPo article:
BlackRock said it had created new exchange-traded funds and products for pensions and retirement plans that screen for companies that make or sell firearms. BlackRock is also shifting the indexes of existing exchange-traded funds focused on socially responsible investments to avoid gunmakers and sellers.
The new funds will not invest in Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kroger, Walmart, American Outdoor Brands, Vista Outdoor and Sturm, Ruger.
This is a significant move for BlackRock as spectators hone in on how Wall Street is responding to the gun debate. It will be interesting to see if other investors will respond in similar fashion to BlackRock’s new approach.
Read the full WaPo article here: BlackRock unveils gun-free investment options