World’s biggest fund manager warns UK firms

Michael Bow
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LARRY Fink, the founder and boss of BlackRock – which controls $4 trillion (£2.4 trillion) – has urged UK firms on the fund manager’s books to invest in capital expenditure to boost long-term growth.

Fink, who founded the fund management behemoth in 1988, has written an open letter to FTSE-listed businesses that BlackRock invests in urging them not to pursue costly short-term share buybacks at the expense of capex.

“It concerns us that, in the wake of the financial crisis, many companies have shied away from investing in the future growth of their companies,” Fink says in the letter, seen by City A.M..

“Too many companies have cut capital expenditure and even increased debt to boost dividends and increase share buybacks.”

The move follows a similar campaign in the US urging S&P 500 CEOs not to make short term dividends a priority over long term strategic goals.

“We want to encourage corporate leaders to position their companies to attract the patient capital they seek and counter short-term pressures,” BlackRock said in a statement last night.