March 28, 2022: -Larry Fink, CEO, and chairman of the world’s biggest asset manager, BlackRock, said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had upended the world order that had been in place since the end of the Cold War.
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine has ended the globalization we have experienced over the previous three decades,” Fink said in his 2022 letter to shareholders. “It has left communities and people feeling isolated and looking inward. I believe this has exacerbated the polarization and extremist behavior is seeing across society today,” Fink added.
Fink’s letter came over a month into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with Moscow’s forces bombarding cities is all over the country and killing civilians unable to escape. The U.S. and its allies are imposing unprecedented sanctions on Russia and providing military assistance to Ukraine.
Fink, whose firm oversees over $10 trillion, said nations and governments have come in one and launched an “economic war” against Russia. He said BlackRock had taken steps to suspend the purchase of any Russian securities in its active or index portfolios.
“Over the past few weeks, I’ve spoken to countless stakeholders, which include our clients and employees, looking to understand what could be done to prevent capital from being deployed to Russia,” Fink said.
In the 1990s, when the world emerged from the Cold War, Fink wrote that Russia welcomes into the global financial system and is given access to global capital markets. He said that the expansion of globalization accelerated international trade, global capital markets, and increased economic growth.
It was right then, 34 years ago, when BlackRock was founded, and the firm benefited from the increase of globalization and growth of the capital markets, which fueled the need for technology-driven asset management, Fink said.
“I remain a long-term believer in the benefits of globalization and the power of global capital markets. Fink said that access to global capital enables companies to fund growth, countries to raise economic development, and more people to experience financial well-being,” Fink said.
The CEO said BlackRock is committing to monitoring the direct and indirect impacts of the crisis and is aiming to understand how to navigate this new investment environment.