The world’s largest asset manager is in disagreement with the world’s most famous investor.
BlackRock Inc. voted for two shareholder proposals that would require Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to publish disclosures on how it manages climate risk and diversity efforts across its many businesses. Berkshire’s two shareholder-led proposals didn’t pass, but around a quarter of votes cast were in favor of the two proposals, Berkshire said during its annual meeting Saturday.
BlackRock’s vote highlights the growing tension between asset managers who are calling for companies to further emphasize ESG issues and executives who are pushing back. Mr. Buffett has defended the company’s current policies.
“The company is not adapting to a world where environmental, social, governance (ESG) considerations are becoming much more material to performance,” BlackRock wrote in a bulletin about its Berkshire decision.
The $9 trillion asset manager has already said it would wield votes it controls for investors more aggressively following criticism that it defers too often to company executives. In recent months it signaled it is more willing to support shareholder-led proposals on environmental, social and governance issues.