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贝莱德集团CEO:利益相关者资本主义不是“觉醒”,而只是好生意

贝莱德集团CEO:利益相关者资本主义不是“觉醒”,而只是好生意

Nicholas Gordon 2022-01-21
拉里·芬克认为,利益相关者资本主义“是资本主义”,也是企业繁荣的原因之一。

在贝莱德集团(BlackRock Group)致企业首席执行官的年度信函中,首席执行官劳伦斯·芬克反驳了外界对“利益相关者资本主义”(stakeholder capitalism)的批评。有评论人士认为,左倾企业的高管利用该战略在暗地尝试实现激进的政治议题。

但芬克在信中写道:“利益相关者资本主义与政治无关。它不是社会或意识形态议题,也不是‘觉醒’。”相反,利益相关者资本主义“是资本主义”,也是企业繁荣的原因之一。

与认为公司应该为股东赢得最大利润和回报的股东资本主义不同,利益相关者资本主义主张公司不仅为股东利益服务,也为更广泛的社区服务,包括员工、供应商和客户。

芬克提到“觉醒的资本主义”,很可能是在示意保守派政治家和评论家。保守派人士对美国企业近期试图解决气候变化、种族不平等和投票权问题进行了批判。美国参议员马尔科·卢比奥于2021年9月在福克斯商业频道(Fox Business)批评了“管理美国企业的觉醒精英”,美国部分州的立法者则提出要立法禁止国家投资那些采用可持续投资战略的公司。

但对芬克而言,关注所有利益相关者——而不仅仅是痴迷回报的股东——才是企业盈利的关键。他认为,需要保持员工、客户和供应商的参与感和激励,才能让各方利益相关者不断为股东创造价值,从而确保企业实现长期盈利能力。

这封年度信函由全球最大的资产管理公司发出,而这家公司控制着众多大型公司的重要股份,因此信的内容有设定议题的作用,也体现了企业领导者最关心的议题。芬克在2020年的信中强调,气候变化是一种投资风险;在随后的几个月里,许多美国公司公布了实现碳中和的计划。

在今年的信函里,芬克也谈到了气候变化,并再次进行了辩护。

芬克表示贝莱德关注可持续发展,“并不是因为我们是环保主义者,而是因为我们是资本运用者,是客户的资产管理受托人”。他认为,脱碳化经济转型势不可挡,那些不改变运作的企业都将落后于时代。芬克还在信中提到,贝莱德鼓励企业分享减排目标,并披露为缓解气候变化风险所做的努力。

但是,贝莱德不认同从投资组合中完全撤出化石燃料类投资。即便有公司和机构终止了对化石燃料的投资,芬克依然拥护贝莱德在部分石油和天然气项目所做的投资。活动人士批评贝莱德罔顾净零排放承诺,仍然在持续投资煤炭、石油和天然气。

芬克写道:“撤出投资整个行业,或单纯地把碳密集型资产从公共市场转移到私营市场,并不能实现净零世界。”他认为,我们需要经历零碳经济转型的“渐变过程”——暂时仍然需要传统化石燃料为世界各地发电和供暖。

2021年12月,贝莱德带领一群投资者拿下了49%的沙特阿美(Saudi Aramco)的天然气管道网络股份。芬克在当时表示,在净零经济转型过程中,“负责任地管理天然气基础设施将发挥重要作用”。

芬克并没有完全放弃这些公司,而是将其视为寻求碳排放转型的“具有前瞻视野的”企业——或许更重要的是,这是一个“重要的投资机会”。

除了气候变化,芬克在今年的信函中还特意提到了一个相对较新的现象:创下离职人数新纪录的“大离职潮”(Great Resignation)。

芬克在信中写道:“新冠疫情为雇主和雇员关系所带来的变化,比任何其他关系的转变更大。” 他认为,员工对雇主有更多的要求是“资本主义有效运转的一个基本特征”,最终会创造更繁荣的经济和更大的股东回报。他还认为,“未能调整至这一新模式并且未能回应员工要求的企业将要承担后果。”

关于回归办公室的问题,芬克的看法则比华尔街同行更为温和。摩根大通的(JPMorgan)首席执行官杰米·戴蒙认为远程办公对“那些想要打拼的人”来并非好事,高盛集团(Goldman Sachs)的首席执行官苏德巍(David Solomon)称居家办公是“反常现象”,他打算“尽快纠正”。

相比之下,芬克认为新冠疫情让首席执行官们正在面对一个“与过往截然不同的工作模式”,包括不再预期员工“每周到办公室工作五天”。

随着德尔塔和奥密克戎变异毒株疫情相继爆发,华尔街的大型公司已经推迟了让员工回到办公室工作的计划,贝莱德的政策是希望员工每周到办公室工作三天。(财富中文网)

译者:Emily

在贝莱德集团(BlackRock Group)致企业首席执行官的年度信函中,首席执行官劳伦斯·芬克反驳了外界对“利益相关者资本主义”(stakeholder capitalism)的批评。有评论人士认为,左倾企业的高管利用该战略在暗地尝试实现激进的政治议题。

但芬克在信中写道:“利益相关者资本主义与政治无关。它不是社会或意识形态议题,也不是‘觉醒’。”相反,利益相关者资本主义“是资本主义”,也是企业繁荣的原因之一。

与认为公司应该为股东赢得最大利润和回报的股东资本主义不同,利益相关者资本主义主张公司不仅为股东利益服务,也为更广泛的社区服务,包括员工、供应商和客户。

芬克提到“觉醒的资本主义”,很可能是在示意保守派政治家和评论家。保守派人士对美国企业近期试图解决气候变化、种族不平等和投票权问题进行了批判。美国参议员马尔科·卢比奥于2021年9月在福克斯商业频道(Fox Business)批评了“管理美国企业的觉醒精英”,美国部分州的立法者则提出要立法禁止国家投资那些采用可持续投资战略的公司。

但对芬克而言,关注所有利益相关者——而不仅仅是痴迷回报的股东——才是企业盈利的关键。他认为,需要保持员工、客户和供应商的参与感和激励,才能让各方利益相关者不断为股东创造价值,从而确保企业实现长期盈利能力。

这封年度信函由全球最大的资产管理公司发出,而这家公司控制着众多大型公司的重要股份,因此信的内容有设定议题的作用,也体现了企业领导者最关心的议题。芬克在2020年的信中强调,气候变化是一种投资风险;在随后的几个月里,许多美国公司公布了实现碳中和的计划。

在今年的信函里,芬克也谈到了气候变化,并再次进行了辩护。

芬克表示贝莱德关注可持续发展,“并不是因为我们是环保主义者,而是因为我们是资本运用者,是客户的资产管理受托人”。他认为,脱碳化经济转型势不可挡,那些不改变运作的企业都将落后于时代。芬克还在信中提到,贝莱德鼓励企业分享减排目标,并披露为缓解气候变化风险所做的努力。

但是,贝莱德不认同从投资组合中完全撤出化石燃料类投资。即便有公司和机构终止了对化石燃料的投资,芬克依然拥护贝莱德在部分石油和天然气项目所做的投资。活动人士批评贝莱德罔顾净零排放承诺,仍然在持续投资煤炭、石油和天然气。

芬克写道:“撤出投资整个行业,或单纯地把碳密集型资产从公共市场转移到私营市场,并不能实现净零世界。”他认为,我们需要经历零碳经济转型的“渐变过程”——暂时仍然需要传统化石燃料为世界各地发电和供暖。

2021年12月,贝莱德带领一群投资者拿下了49%的沙特阿美(Saudi Aramco)的天然气管道网络股份。芬克在当时表示,在净零经济转型过程中,“负责任地管理天然气基础设施将发挥重要作用”。

芬克并没有完全放弃这些公司,而是将其视为寻求碳排放转型的“具有前瞻视野的”企业——或许更重要的是,这是一个“重要的投资机会”。

除了气候变化,芬克在今年的信函中还特意提到了一个相对较新的现象:创下离职人数新纪录的“大离职潮”(Great Resignation)。

芬克在信中写道:“新冠疫情为雇主和雇员关系所带来的变化,比任何其他关系的转变更大。” 他认为,员工对雇主有更多的要求是“资本主义有效运转的一个基本特征”,最终会创造更繁荣的经济和更大的股东回报。他还认为,“未能调整至这一新模式并且未能回应员工要求的企业将要承担后果。”

关于回归办公室的问题,芬克的看法则比华尔街同行更为温和。摩根大通的(JPMorgan)首席执行官杰米·戴蒙认为远程办公对“那些想要打拼的人”来并非好事,高盛集团(Goldman Sachs)的首席执行官苏德巍(David Solomon)称居家办公是“反常现象”,他打算“尽快纠正”。

相比之下,芬克认为新冠疫情让首席执行官们正在面对一个“与过往截然不同的工作模式”,包括不再预期员工“每周到办公室工作五天”。

随着德尔塔和奥密克戎变异毒株疫情相继爆发,华尔街的大型公司已经推迟了让员工回到办公室工作的计划,贝莱德的政策是希望员工每周到办公室工作三天。(财富中文网)

译者:Emily

BlackRock chief executive Laurence Fink has used his annual letter to CEOs to defend stakeholder capitalism against critics who say the strategy is a veiled attempt by left-leaning business executives to fulfill a progressive political agenda.

"Stakeholder capitalism is not about politics. It is not a social or ideological agenda. It is not ‘woke’,” he wrote. Instead, stakeholder capitalism "is capitalism," and a reason why businesses prosper.

Stakeholder capitalism argues that the purpose of companies is to serve the interests of not just shareholders, but the broader community, including employees, suppliers and customers. It's a contrast to shareholder capitalism, or the idea that a company's main purpose is to maximize profits and returns to shareholders.

Fink's reference to "woke capitalism" is likely a nod to conservative politicians and commentators, who have attacked corporate America's recent attempts to grapple with climate change, racial inequality and voting rights. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio criticized "the woke elites running corporate America" on Fox Business in September, and some U.S. state lawmakers have proposed legislation that would bar state investments in companies that use sustainable investment strategies.

But for Fink, paying attention to all stakeholders—not just returns-obsessed shareholders—is key to how a business makes money. Keeping employees, customers and suppliers engaged and inspired, says Fink, is necessary to ensure those parities keep delivering profits to shareholders—and thus ensure long-term business profitability.

Coming from the world’s largest asset manager—which controls significant stakes many of the biggest companies—Fink's annual letter is an agenda-setting exercise that signals what's top-of-mind for corporate leaders. Fink’s 2020 letter highlighted climate change as an investment risk; in the months that followed, many U.S. firms announced plans to become carbon-neutral.

Fink's letter this year touched on climate change, too, and again, Fink played defense.

According to Fink, BlackRock cares about sustainability “not because we’re environmentalists, but because we are capitalists and fiduciaries to our clients.” The shift to a decarbonized economy is inevitable, Fink says, and businesses that don't change their operations will be left behind. In his letter, Fink shared that BlackRock would ask companies to share targets for emissions reductions, and disclose their efforts to mitigate risk from climate change.

But BlackRock won't go as far as to cut out fossil fuels from its portfolio entirely. Fink defended BlackRock’s ongoing investment in some oil and gas projects even as other companies and organizations end their exposure to fossil fuels. Activists have criticized BlackRock's continued investment in coal, oil, and gas in spite of its stated commitment to the net-zero transition.

“[D]ivesting from entire sectors—or simply passing carbon-intensive assets from public markets to private markets—will not get the world to net zero,” he wrote. The transition would require moving through "shades of brown"—interim steps that would still require traditional fossil fuels to produce electricity and heat around the world.

In December 2021, BlackRock led a group of investors that took a 49% stake in Saudi Aramco’s network of natural gas pipelines. At the time, Fink said that “responsibly managed natural gas infrastructure has a meaningful role to play” in the transition to a net-zero economy.

Rather than abandon such companies entirely, Fink sees them as "foresighted" partners in the fight against carbon emissions—and, perhaps more importantly, a "vital investment opportunity".

In addition to climate change, Fink devoted space in this year's letter to a relatively new phenomenon: the Great Resignation, or the record number of workers quitting their jobs.

In his letter, Fink writes that “no relationship has been changed more by the pandemic than the one between employers and employees.” Greater demands on employers are “an essential feature of effective capitalism,” says Fink, ultimately creating a more prosperous economy and greater shareholder profits. He continues that “companies not adjusting to this new reality and responding to their workers do so at their own peril.”

Fink’s view on returning to the office is more moderate than some of his peers on Wall Street. JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon said that remote work wasn’t good “for those who want to hustle” while Goldman Sachs’s David Solomon called working from home an “aberration” that he intended “to correct as quickly as possible.”

In contrast, Fink says the pandemic presents CEOs with a “profoundly different paradigm,” including the end of an expectation that workers would “come into the office five days a week.”

With the successive outbreaks of the Delta and Omicron COVID-19 variants, major firms on Wall Street—including BlackRock, which had a policy of expecting workers to come into the office three days a week—have delayed plans to bring their employees back to the office.

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