Updated 10.23.2009

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Summary: Asset Manager BlackRock has an interesting ownership structure. Although 21.1% of the company stock is owned by its employees and the public (Source: BlackRock), approximately 4.8% and 46.4% of BlackRock’s voting common stock is owned by Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation, and The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. Our research reveals concerns around Board Independence and Effectiveness


Compensation practices are also a concern. The company has scored poorly on the Social and Environmental front.


Subscribed members can view a detailed analysis of individual sections by clicking on the tabs above.

Is the Board equipped to provide effective and Independent oversight?

  1. The Board consists of 16 members. Out of these, a little less than half of the Board members, about 6, are present or past officers of Merrill Lynch & Co a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation or The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. Approximately 4.8% and 46.4% of BlackRock’s voting common stock are owned by Merrill Lynch and PNC respectively.

  2. Looking at the availability of BlackRock’s directors, it appears that one of the Board Members, James Rohr sits on the board of 4 public companies. He is also the CEO of PNC Financial Services Group. Such instances of multiple public company directorships raise the risk of the director being over extended.

  3. Director Dammerman is on the board of a private company, Capmark Financial Group which is close to filing for a bankruptcy.

Does BlackRock follow good Compensation Practices?

  1. The cash component of CEO Lawrence Fink, is 51% of his total compensation (including the accounting expense for prior years’ awards) for 2008. Total Cash Compensation (Salary and cash Bonus) amounted to $11.9 million compared to a total compensation of $ 23.4 million. The ratio of cash compensation to total compensation for other named executive officers also varied between 54% to 74%.

Does BlackRock's Audit Committee Charter provide its members with adequate review responsibiities?

  1. BlackRock's Board Audit Committee Charter contains an important clause that is not usually seen in such Charters but more companies should start including it. This clause requires the Board Audit Committee to review the effect of “off-balance sheet structures on the Company’s financial statements.”. Board level oversight of such critical data can increase dependence on financial statements.

Does BlackRock provide adequate details on its Social and Environmental Impact?

  1. BlackRock publishes no information on its Social and Environmental impact.


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Board Size: 16

Board of Directors Compensation ($): Cash- $75,000; Restricted Stock- granted annually with a fair value of $100,000 on the last day of the first quarter;

Meeting Attendance Fees: each director receives $1,500 for participation in a meeting of the Board of Directors and $1,000 for participation in a meeting of the Audit, Management Development and Compensation or Nominating and Governance Committees.

Total CO2 emissions (metric tons): 2008 Not Known

Total CEO compensation for 2008($): $ 23.4 million