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BlackRock Expands Proxy Voting Access for U.S. Retail Investors with $2.6 Trillion AUM

BlackRock Expands Proxy Voting Access for U.S. Retail Investors with $2.6 Trillion AUM

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Voting Choice enabled for $2.6 trillion in assets under management (AUM)

Clients representing $598 billion in AUM have adopted BlackRock Voting Choice

BlackRock is enabling Voting Choice for more than three million U.S. retail shareholder accounts invested in iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) – representing about $200 billion of the fund’s $399 billion in assets under management (AUM). Two years on from the launch of Voting Choice for institutional clients, the program is now available to individual investors for the first time, increasing eligible Voting Choice assets to $2.6 trillion, or half of BlackRock’s index equity assets under management.

Eligible IVV shareholders will begin receiving communications on February 14 to participate in the program. Through this IVV pilot, BlackRock will evaluate investor interest, proxy voting infrastructure, and overall user experience.

Joud Abdel Majeid, Global Head of BlackRock Investment Stewardship, commented: Broadening access to Voting Choice is one way we empower investors by making proxy voting easier and more accessible. I’m thrilled that today more than three million additional shareholder accounts have an efficient solution for participating in proxy voting if they choose. For clients and shareholders who entrust BlackRock with voting on their behalf, we remain steadfast in our focus on their long-term financial interests.

Rachel Aguirre, Head of U.S. iShares Product at BlackRock, commented: We launched Voting Choice two years ago to further democratize investing and enable more investors to participate in shareholder voting. Today, for the first time, we’re able to unlock Voting Choice for millions of individual U.S. investors. This is another important step in the broader innovation that BlackRock continues to bring to ETFs.

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Eligible IVV shareholder accounts will be able to select from six third-party proxy voting policies covering a range of voting preferences, as well as the option to continue to have their proportionate shares voted according to the BlackRock Investment Stewardship Voting Policy. Any investors that choose not to participate or are not eligible to participate will continue to have BlackRock Investment Stewardship vote on their behalf. Voting policy selections will be effective for the duration of the 2024 pilot.

The majority of currently eligible clients continue to entrust BlackRock’s Investment Stewardship team with this important responsibility, consistent with BlackRock’s fiduciary duties as an asset manager.


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