What Larry Fink’s 2019 Letter Means for the Future of Business

Friday, February 1, 2019

Last year, Larry Fink’s annual letter to CEOs forged its way into public and corporate consciousness. In it, Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest investment firm, made the bold declaration that “to prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.” A direct riposte to Milton Friedman’s 1970 argument that “the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits,” Fink’s statement rapidly appeared in thousands of articles and PowerPoint slides. Suddenly, every business meeting I attended featured a conversation about the implications of the “Larry Fink letter.” The mainstream business press is still debating the questions Fink raised.

This year’s highly anticipated letter from Fink appeared on January 17, reiterating and expanding upon many of his 2018 points. Its advice to business reflects sustainability best practice and is fantastic news for anyone with concerns about today’s social disruption and environmental destruction. Here are our four main takeaways:

Source: BSR (link opens in a new window)

Finance, Investing