BlackRock made 974 engagements with 812 of the companies in its global investment portfolio in the second quarter, including multiple engagements with 13% of those companies.
The major engagement themes its stewardship team discussed with companies held in the firm's portfolios were governance, environmental and social issues, according to a second-quarter report released Wednesday by BlackRock's investment stewardship team.
Within the theme of governance, BlackRock discussed board composition and effectiveness 504 times, corporate strategy 383 times and executive compensation 379 times. Under environmental themes, BlackRock discussed climate risk management 272 times and operational sustainability 245 times, and within the social theme, BlackRock discussed human capital management 236 times.
BlackRock voted on 103,169 shareholder proposals and participated in 9,540 shareholder meetings in the quarter ended June 30. The stewardship team voted against at least one management proposal at 43% of meetings globally and against one or more management recommendations at 9% of the shareholder meetings.
The second quarter of any given year is traditionally the busiest proxy voting quarter of the year, and the report said "the historic events that occurred during the quarter have put focus on the 'S' within ESG."
"BIS remains focused on companies' progress with respect to diversity," the report said. "The movement for racial equity and justice underscores the need for companies to do better to ensure representation at all levels of the workforce, alongside an inclusive culture in which a diverse workforce can employ skills and expertise to full effect in driving a company's strategic objectives and long-term shareholder value."
The report notes that the investment stewardship team expects much of its engagement in the second half of the year to focus on financial and operational resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
BlackRock managed a total of $7.32 trillion as of June 30.