BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) announced Wednesday that its Board of Directors had declared a quarterly cash dividend of $4.88 per common share. Shareholders of record at the close of business on September 7, 2022, will receive the dividend on September 23, 2022. This represents an annualized dividend of $19.52 and a yield of 3.27%.
BlackRock has increased its dividend payout by an average of 11.2% per year over the past three years. The company has a dividend payout ratio of 48.8%, indicating that earnings sufficiently cover its dividend. Research analysts expect BlackRock to earn $41.99 per share next year, meaning the company should continue to be able to cover its $19.52 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 46.5%.
BlackRock’s goal is to help more and more people experience financial wellness. As an investor trustee and leading financial technology provider, the company helps millions of people build savings that will last them a lifetime by making investing more manageable and affordable.
BlackRock Extends Voting Choice to Other Customers
In June, in response to growing customer interest, BlackRock further expanded the ability for eligible customers to participate in proxy voting decisions where it is legally and operationally viable. Eligible customers include insurance companies, public and private pension plans, foundations, endowments, and sovereign wealth funds.
The program expansion reflects BlackRock’s commitment to democratizing capital market participation by providing clients with the broadest range of choices in the industry to help them achieve their investment goals with the freedom to choose how their votes are cast.
Salim Ramji, Global Head of iShares and Index Investments, BlackRock commented:
“BlackRock’s ETF and index investments offer clients thousands of low cost, convenient options for how to invest their money – and that freedom to choose is also extending to proxy voting. Following years of work on technology and regulatory barriers, nearly half of our clients’ index equity assets – including pension funds representing more than 60 million people – have easy and efficient options to vote their preferences. While BlackRock’s Voting Choice program is an industry first, we see it as just a beginning. Our ambition is to make voting choice convenient and efficient for all investors, and we are working with policymakers and industry participants around the world to extend voting choice for our clients”.
The company launched the BlackRock Voting Choice initiative in October 2021, and the program’s initial phase went live on January 1, 2022. This phase has given certain institutional clients, notably pension funds, insurance companies and companies invested in numerous indexing strategies, more choice as to how they participate in voting at shareholders’ meetings. These institutional clients were invested in segregated accounts globally and certain pooled funds managed by BlackRock in the US and UK.
The second phase of BlackRock’s Voting Choice program expands the range of institutional mutual funds eligible for Voting Choice in the UK. Also, it extends Voting Choice to Canadian and Irish institutional mutual funds. As a result, almost half (47%) of the index’s $4.9 trillion equity assets, including more than 6,503 mutual funds in the US and UK, are now eligible to participate in BlackRock Voting Choice.
BlackRock customers have pledged $530 billion – a quarter of eligible assets – to vote according to their preferences through Voting Choice. In the five months since BlackRock launched the program, customers representing $120 billion in assets have chosen to vote according to their preferences, made possible by the ease and efficiency of BlackRock Voting Choice. This relies on legacy customers (with assets of $410 billion) who have always controlled their own vote.
BlackRock Voting Choice is available for 100% of US pension plans. In Europe and the UK, 80% of BlackRock’s index assets (other than ETFs) are eligible for BlackRock Voting Choice.
BlackRock also released a white paper, “It’s All About Choice,” which outlines the company’s ambition to extend Voting Choice to all investors, including individual fund investors.
Featured Image: Megapixl @Ipopba.