Vanguard, the world’s second largest asset manager, has refused to sign up to a group of major investors demanding that polluters respond to the climate crisis, despite its rival BlackRock relenting to pressure to do so.
The US investment manager’s decision leaves it increasingly isolated after BlackRock last week joined Climate Action 100+ (CA100+), a group of asset managers that pushes the largest fossil fuel producers to show how they will meet carbon dioxide reduction targets.
CA100+ counts among its members asset managers controlling more than $40tn, giving it clout to push large oil companies and other fossil fuel extractors to address climate issues.Last year, it forced British oil multinational BP to describe how its strategy aligned with goals laid out at the 2015 Paris climate summit.
Vanguard on Monday revealed that its assets under management surpassed $6tn during 2019, after a net gain of $230bn in new investments, much of it in passive investments that track stock market indices, giving it large stakes in many fossil fuel companies.
It has also gained regulatory approval to launch a new UK investment advice service, adding to the funds service that it started offering in the UK in 2017.
Vanguard chief executive Tim Buckley has repeatedly insisted that it will focus on engaging with companies rather than voting for action.“We have to make sure we’re talking to companies on how they are dealing with and addressing these issues, but not crossing the line and telling them what to do,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times published on Sunday.