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Money managers speak against Trump’s travel ban, review for any business impact

Protesters crowd John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Saturday

A number of large money managers have publicly weighed in on what President Donald Trump’s executive order about immigration — which restricts travel from seven countries in the Middle East and Africa — would mean for their businesses.

In a memo to BlackRock (BLK) employees, Chairman and CEO Laurence D. Fink wrote: “At this time, we believe there are relatively few individuals (within the firm) whose travel will be directly impacted, but of course the full implications are still being assessed. We also are closely monitoring the repercussions for U.S. citizens traveling abroad.”

Mr. Fink added: “We, of course, all want to promote security and combat terrorism, but we believe it needs to be done with respect for due process, individual rights and the principle of inclusion.”

Emily M. Farrell, spokeswoman for Vanguard Group, said in an email: “We are still reviewing the situation but do not anticipate any impact at this time.”

State Street Global Advisors spokeswoman Anne Elizabeth McNally issued the following statement: “As a global business, we believe that our diversity is our strength and a driver of growth and our ability to attract and retain great talent. Although we do not believe that any of our employees or their families have been impacted by last Friday’s executive order on immigration, we are monitoring the situation closely.”

Added Ms. McNally: “While we appreciate the need for U.S. border security and vigilance, we believe the order as currently stated can have serious negative consequences. In times of change and uncertainty, the most important focus for us is on our values and staying true to what we stand for as an organization and community of more than 30,000 employees.”

PIMCO spokesman Michael Reid said CEO Manny Roman and Group Chief Investment Officer Dan Ivascyn have sent an email to the staff reaffirming Pacific Investment Management Co.’s “commitment to a globally inclusive workforce and workplace.”

“The firm is also actively engaged with any employees who might be affected by the U.S. government’s executive order on immigration,” Mr. Reid said.

Mr. Reid did not say whether any employees were affected.

PIMCO is owned by global insurer Allianz, which is based in Munich.

Bobby Franklin, president and CEO of the National Venture Capital Association, a venture capital trade organization, said in a blog post on Monday that the venture capital community views Mr. Trump’s executive order “as hostile to many of our core beliefs.”

Currently, the U.S. accounts for 54% of global venture capital, down from 90% 20 years ago. The U.S. underappreciates or overlooks that one-third to one-half of U.S. startups are founded by foreign-born entrepreneurs, he wrote.

Some 31% of venture capital-backed company founders are immigrant entrepreneurs, the post states.

“The venture community stands for openness and inclusion, cemented in the belief that immigrants have played a vital role in the success of our country and its entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Mr. Franklin said.

J.P. Morgan Asset Management (JPM) spokeswoman Kristen Chambers emailed a message that had been sent to employees from the firm’s operating committee: “In light of recent executive orders in the United States regarding immigration policy, we want every one of you to know of our unwavering commitment to the dedicated people working here at J.P. Morgan Chase. This includes a number of our outstanding employees — all of whom have adhered to our country’s immigration and employment processes — who have come to the United States to serve our company, clients and communities.

The message added that, “Over the weekend, we have worked to reach out to all J.P. Morgan Chase employees on sponsored visas who are potentially impacted by the recent orders. We understand the situation is evolving quickly, so if you have any concerns about your own situation and have not been contacted, please reach out to your local immigration specialist or HR team.”

Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, said in a statement to employees Sunday night: “This is not a policy we support, and I would note that it has already been challenged in federal court, and some of the order has been enjoined at least temporarily.”

Mr. Blankfein added that if the order were to become or remain effective, that could potentially cause disruption for the firm, and especially to some of the firm’s employees and their families.

“I want to assure all of you that we will work to minimize such disruption to the extent we can within the law and are focused on supporting our colleagues and their families who may be affected,” Mr. Blankfein said.

Randy Diamond and Arleen Jacobius contributed to this story.