BlackRock’s newest ESG-integrated ETF — iShares ESG MSCI EM Leaders — received a substantial investment of more than $600 million on its third day of trading.
The investment Monday by Helsinski-based Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Co. is its second in a BlackRock ESG-focused ETF.
“iShares previously worked with Ilmarinen to launch … iShares ESG MSCI USA Leaders ETF, which launched in May 2019 with nearly $850 million from the Finnish firm,” BlackRock said Wednesday in a news release.
Matthew Kobussen, a BlackRock spokesman, was not immediately available to provide more information about the collaboration between the money manager and the insurer, which managed €49.1 billion ($54.6 billion) as of Sept. 30.
“ESG has been a core component of our investment strategy for a long time,” said Anna Hyrske, Ilmarinen’s head of responsible investments, in BlackRock’s release.
She said that until recently, “implementing sustainable strategies in our indexed public equity portfolio has been difficult because many parts of the market lacked a suitable ESG-oriented benchmark. Advances in ESG data and analysis, indexing and portfolio construction have helped us achieve our sustainability goals and meet our performance objectives.”
Ms. Hyrske could not be reached for more information about Ilmarinen’s latest ESG investment with BlackRock.
The investment strategy of BlackRock’s new ETF tracks an index of more than 400 emerging-market large- and midcap high-ESG-performing companies relative to their peers in 26 countries as determined by index provider MSCI, according to the release.
The index excludes companies involved in tobacco, alcohol, gambling, nuclear power, nuclear and conventional weapons, controversial weapons and other controversial business involvement.
BlackRock noted in the release that exclusion screens applied to create the LDEM index are based on revenue or percentage of revenue thresholds for certain categories and categorical exclusions for others.
As of Dec. 31, BlackRock managed a total of $7.43 trillion, of which $2.24 trillion was managed in more than 900 ETFs. BlackRock managed more than $26 billion in more than 80 ESG-themed ETFs.