Investors Embrace ESG Investing but Don’t Target Gun Stocks
By Ross Kreber
Two new BlackRock Inc funds that exclude gun makers are off to slow starts as socially-minded investors embrace other products addressing a wide range of issues like environmental and governance concerns, according to flow data at the world’s largest asset manager.
Investor scrutiny of gun makers picked up after last year’s mass shooting at a Florida high school and has continued through more recent attacks, including in Texas and Ohio last weekend. Some activists have urged asset managers to drop holdings like Sturm Ruger & Co and American Outdoor Brands Corp.
Rather than divest, BlackRock in the spring of 2018 took steps like introducing a pair of gun-free funds to give investors alternatives to traditional products such as the iShares Russell 2000 ETF, which holds 2% of both Sturm Ruger and American Outdoor.
Photo courtesy of Lawrence G. Miller.