Mr. Nasser's appointment to the board will provide "continuity of regional expertise (that) reflects the importance of the Middle East to the firm's long-term strategy," the news release said.
The decision to appoint Mr. Nasser comes as BlackRock, along with its CEO and Chairman Larry Fink, have become lightning rods for ESG investing — an investment strategy that takes environmental, social and governance factors into consideration.
Mr. Fink and his firm, which had $9.43 trillion in assets under management as of June 30, have seemingly backtracked in recent months, with Mr. Fink saying he would no longer use the term because he felt it had become "totally weaponized" by activists and politicians on both sides of the aisle.
Mr. Nasser has spoken publicly about ESG investing, calling it "a move in the right direction" at a conference in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia,earlier this year. In the same speech, however, he warned that "if ESG-driven policies are implemented with an automatic bias against any and all conventional energy products" the "resulting underinvestment will have serious implications for the global economy, for energy affordability, and for energy security."
"Amin's distinguished career at Aramco, spanning more than four decades, gives him a unique perspective on many of the key issues facing our firm and our clients," Mr. Fink said in the news release. "His leadership experience, understanding of the global energy industry and the drivers of the shift towards a low-carbon economy, as well as his knowledge of the Middle East region, will all contribute meaningfully to the BlackRock board dialogue."
A representative for BlackRock declined to provide additional comment.