BlackRock and State Street CEO Letters Focus on Corporate Purpose and Culture

On January 17, 2019, BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink released his annual letter to CEOs of public companies, expanding on the theme of corporate purpose raised in last year’s letter. The letter, titled “Purpose & Profit,” highlights “the inextricable link between purpose and profits” and calls on companies to become leaders in addressing societal issues, particularly retirement, infrastructure and job preparation. The letter also notes that BlackRock’s engagement focus in 2019 will be on board diversity, corporate strategy and capital allocation, compensation that promotes long-termism, environmental risks and opportunities, and human capital management, and that companies should be prepared to discuss how their corporate purpose informs their strategy and culture to underpin sustainable financial performance. The full text of the letter is available here. The letter was released two days after State Street Global Advisors’ CEO Cyrus Taraporevala released his annual letter to portfolio companies in which he announced that State Street will focus on corporate culture in 2019.