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Money Management

BlackRock’s Fink joins CEOs in denouncing Virginia violence

Laurence D. Fink, CEO of BlackRock
Blackrock CEO Larry Fink said last weekend’s violence in Virginia was ‘profoundly troubling.’

Laurence D. Fink, CEO of BlackRock (BLK), joined the group of corporate leaders condemning racial intolerance that became violent over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va.

"The events this past weekend in Charlottesville ... where innocent people were the victims of hate-fueled violence, were profoundly troubling," wrote Mr. Fink in an internal memo to employees on Monday. "What we saw there was domestic terrorism. It cannot be accepted, and it cannot be tolerated."

Prominent U.S. executives have denounced the events and several have quit a White House business group set up to advise President Donald Trump, in a rare rebuke to a sitting president. Mr. Fink is a member of Mr. Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum, a group organized to provide input to the president on economic growth, job creation and productivity. Mr. Fink will continue in that role, said Brian Beades, a BlackRock spokesman.

In his memo, Mr. Fink reaffirmed BlackRock's commitment to inclusion and diversity.

"In the face of such racism, it is important to reaffirm BlackRock's commitment to inclusion and diversity," he wrote. "These events have perhaps been felt most immediately by our colleagues in America, but they run contrary to the values we embrace around the world."

Separately, Jamie Dimon and Stephen Schwarzman are facing renewed criticism for their ties to Mr. Trump.

Protesters will descend on J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.'s headquarters in New York on Wednesday with more than 400,000 petitions collected across the U.S., according to a statement from groups including the Center for Popular Democracy and Make the Road New York. The groups are calling for Mr. Dimon, the CEO of J.P. Morgan, and Mr. Schwarzman, Blackstone Group's CEO, to quit Mr. Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum.

Mr. Dimon also was criticized for his role on Mr. Trump's council at the bank's annual meeting in May. The CEO rejected protesters' calls to quit the group. At the time, he said while he doesn't agree with all the president's policies, he still wants to help him lead the country.

This week, Messrs. Dimon and Schwarzman joined U.S. corporate leaders in denouncing the racial intolerance that turned violent over the weekend. Mr. Schwarzman is chairman of the Forum.