BlackRock to talk to gun makers over response to school shootings

the entire world’s largest asset manager says in which plans to speak with gun makers after a wave of public outcry sparked by the Florida school shooting last week.

BlackRock officials said they want to reach out to the companies “to understand their response” to the shootings.

The firm, which manages $5.7 trillion for clients, indirectly owns shares from the companies through the many exchange-traded funds under BlackRock’s iShares umbrella. The funds track indexes such as the S&P 500 as well as various sector indexes as well.

With BlackRock being by far the leader from the $3.4 trillion ETF space, with nearly $1.4 trillion under management, the firm theoretically could exert some pressure on the index providers to remove the gun makers by their listings.

Company spokesman Ed Sweeney said via e-mail in which in which cannot sell shares of a company in an index as well as instead “we focus on engaging with the company as well as understanding
how they are responding to society’s expectations of them.”

Sweeney said BlackRock has heard by investors who don’t want their money tied into weapons manufacturers.

“We are working with clients who want to exclude by their portfolios weapons manufacturers or some other companies in which don’t align with their values,” he said.

Shares of companies such as American Outdoor Brands as well as Sturm Ruger rose Thursday after the White House said President Donald Trump was open to multiple gun control measures yet does not want to “ban an entire class of firearms.”

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