Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance

BlackRock’s corporate governance framework is a set of principles, guidelines and practices that support sustainable financial performance and long-term value creation for our shareholders.

Our commitment to corporate governance is integral to our business and reflects not only regulatory requirements, NYSE listing standards and broadly recognized governance practices, but also effective leadership and oversight by our senior management team and Board.

We regularly conduct calls with our shareholders to solicit feedback on our corporate governance framework. We make an effort to incorporate this feedback through enhanced policies, processes and disclosure.

 

Our Corporate Governance Framework

Our Board is committed to maintaining the highest standards of corporate governance at BlackRock. Because corporate governance practices evolve over time, our Board reviews and approves our Corporate Governance Guidelines, committee charters and other governance policies at least once a year and updates them as necessary and appropriate.

Our Board is guided by our Corporate Governance Guidelines, which address director responsibilities, director access to management, director orientation and continuing education, director retirement and the annual performance evaluations of the Board and Board Committees. The Board recently amended the Corporate Governance Guidelines to have the Governance Committee consider the periodic rotation of Committee members and Committee chairs as a means of introducing fresh perspectives and broadening and diversifying the views and experience represented on the Board’s Committees.

The full text of our Corporate Governance Guidelines, Board Committee Charters, Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and other corporate governance policies are available on our website at www.blackrock.com under the headings “Our Company and Sites / Our Firm / Investor Relations / Corporate Governance”.

 

Our Board: “Engaged and vital to our success”

At BlackRock, we believe our Board should be deeply engaged, provide informed and frank guidance and feedback, and maintain an open dialogue with management, based on a clear understanding of our short and long-term strategic plan.

BlackRock’s Board plays an integral oversight role in our growth and success. At each Board meeting, we review components of our strategy with our Directors and engage in constructive dialogue, which our leadership team embraces. These discussions are not without disagreement— and those tough conversations push us to make the difficult decisions required to build a better BlackRock.

The Board plays an active part in our talent development as well, dedicating at least one meeting per year to talent to ensure we have the right people in the right places to execute our strategy, as well as to make certain we are developing others to fill these roles in the future. Building a generation of leaders open to both Board and external ideas is vital to BlackRock’s long-term success.

Our Board also takes an active role in ensuring we embrace “best practices” in corporate governance. In 2016, we incorporated feedback from shareholders on proxy access policies and practices to inform management’s proposal for proxy access that was voted on and approved in 2016.

The partnership and oversight of a strong and multifaceted Board with diverse perspectives rooted in deep experience in finance, industry, academia and government is essential to creating long-term shareholder value.

Board Leadership Structure

Why our Board leadership structure is right for BlackRock

Our Board and Governance Committee regularly review and evaluate the Board’s leadership structure. Mr. Fink serves as both BlackRock’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, which the Board has determined is the most appropriate and effective leadership structure for the Board and the Company at this time. Mr. Fink has served in this capacity since founding BlackRock in 1988 and, as such, brings over 25 years of strategic leadership experience and an unparalleled knowledge of BlackRock’s business, operations and risks to his role as Chairman of the Board.

The Board does not have a policy on whether the roles of the Chairman and CEO should be separated, but believes the current combination of the two roles provides BlackRock with, among other things, a clear and effective leadership structure to communicate the Company’s business and long-term strategy to its clients, shareholders and the public. The combined Chairman-CEO structure also provides for robust and frequent communication between the Board’s independent directors and the management of the Company. To further facilitate coordination with the independent directors and to ensure the exercise of independent judgment by the Board, the independent directors annually select one of its independent members to serve as the Lead Independent Director.

How we select our Lead Independent Director

Thomas H. O’Brien served as BlackRock’s Lead Independent Director since the role was first established in 2008. As the Lead Independent Director, Mr. O’Brien was instrumental in guiding the Board’s oversight of management’s strategy and succession planning and also led a number of key governance initiatives including BlackRock’s rotation policy for Board Committee chairs and the Board’s proactive recommendation to include management’s proposal for proxy access that was voted on and approved in 2016.

In anticipation of Mr. O’Brien’s retirement from the Board this year, the Governance Committee reviewed the purpose and role of the Lead Independent Director with management. Together they developed a set of guidelines that incorporates feedback from our shareholders and describes in greater detail the authority and responsibilities of the position, as well as other criteria independent directors of the Board should consider in choosing a successor to Mr. O’Brien, as well as for future Lead Independent Directors. The Board approved these guidelines in September 2016.

In designating a director to serve in the capacity of Lead Independent Director, the independent directors of the Board take into account many factors, including the director’s:

  • understanding of the business and affairs of BlackRock;
  • willingness and ability to devote a substantial amount of time to the position;
  • experience serving on public company boards and/or in senior management roles; and
  • judgment and leadership skills.

Our enhanced focus on the role and the criteria for serving as Lead Independent Director helped create a process, led by Mr. O’Brien, to choose his successor. Following one-on-one meetings by Mr. O’Brien with each of the independent directors, discussions were held collectively with all the independent directors in executive sessions. After review and careful consideration, the independent members of the Board selected Murry Gerber as the new Lead Independent Director, effective as of May 25, 2017.

Lead Independent Director Role
Sets and approves agenda for Board meetings and leads executive sessions.
At each executive session, facilitates discussion of the Company’s strategy, key governance issues (including succession planning) and the performance of BlackRock senior executives.
Serves as liaison between independent directors and the Chairman.
Focuses on Board effectiveness, performance and composition with input from the Governance Committee.
Oversees and reports on annual Board and Committee performance self-evaluations, in consultation with the Governance Committee.
Serves as the primary Board contact for shareholder engagement.

Under our guidelines, the Lead Independent Director will be elected annually by BlackRock’s independent directors and serve until a successor is appointed. Although elected annually, we generally expect the Lead Independent Director to serve for more than one year.

The full versions of our Lead Independent Director Guidelines, Corporate Governance Guidelines, Board Committee Charters, Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and other corporate governance policies are available on our website at www.blackrock.com under the headings “Our Company and Sites / Our Firm / Investor Relations / Corporate Governance”.

 

gerber

Murry S. Gerber

Our new Lead Independent Director

Murry Gerber was elected by the independent directors of our Board to serve as Lead Independent Director, effective May 25, 2017. This position comes with significant authority and responsibilities to provide effective and independent board oversight.

Mr. Gerber brings a wealth of knowledge to his new role as Lead Independent Director. He has served as a director of BlackRock since March 2000. Since joining the Board, Mr. Gerber has served on the Audit Committee, including as its chair from 2009 to 2016, as well as on the MDCC and Risk Committee. He has also served on the board of one of our principal subsidiaries, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. (“BTC”) since June 2012.

In his capacity as a member of the boards of BlackRock and BTC and of their respective Audit Committees, Mr. Gerber is well versed in both the legal and regulatory framework that BlackRock must operate under, as well as our strategic priorities at both the parent and business level.

Executive Sessions

Executive sessions of non-management directors are held at every regularly scheduled round of Board meetings, totaling six in 2016. Each session is chaired by the Lead Independent Director, who facilitates discussion of the Company’s strategy, succession planning and the performance of senior executives. Any non-management director may request that an additional executive session be scheduled. At least once a year an executive session is held of only those directors determined to be “independent,” within the meaning of the listing standards of the NYSE.

Board Evaluations

The effectiveness of the Board and its Committees is critical to BlackRock’s success and to the protection of our shareholders’ longterm interests. To ensure their effectiveness, the Board and each Committee conduct comprehensive annual self-evaluations to identify and assess areas for improvements. Tailored assessments, conducted through questionnaires, are reviewed and updated in consultation with the Governance Committee and the Lead Independent Director. These assessments focus on Board and Committee performance, effectiveness and contributions to BlackRock, as well as meeting agendas, Board composition, Board processes, meeting dynamics and access to resources and senior management.

The Governance Committee reviews each director’s responses to the questionnaires and shares the results of the Committee evaluations with each of the Chairpersons of the Audit, MDCC and Risk Committees. As part of the annual self-evaluation and periodically throughout the year, the Chairman and/or the Lead Independent Director meet with the independent directors on an individual basis to discuss Board, Committee and individual director performance and effectiveness. The Chair of the Governance Committee along with the Chairman of the Board and Lead Independent Director provide the Board with a summary of the questionnaires and additional feedback received from individual directors annually in the fall.

Based on responses from this year’s self-assessment, the Board increased the amount of time allocated to executive sessions and enhanced the processes by which director candidates are evaluated and reviewed by the Board.

Succession Planning

Our Board plays an integral oversight role in talent development by recognizing the importance of succession planning for the CEO and other key executives at BlackRock. The Board, in consultation with the MDCC, dedicates at least one meeting per year to talent to ensure BlackRock has the right people in place to execute our long-term strategic plans and appropriate succession for key individuals. The Board also works with the MDCC to consider potential successors to the CEO in the event of an emergency or the CEO’s retirement. Our CEO recommends and evaluates potential successors for BlackRock’s top executives, along with a review of any development plans for these individuals.

Board Committees

Each Committee is governed by a Board-approved Charter.

Board Committee Meetings

The Board has five committees: an Audit Committee, the MDCC, a Governance Committee, a Risk Committee and an Executive Committee. Below is a summary of our current Committee structure and membership information.

MemberAuditManagement Development & CompensationNominating & GovernanceRiskExecutive
INDEPENDENT DIRECTORS
Abdlatif Y. Al-Hamadblack-dotblack-dot
Mathis Cabiallavettablack-dotblack-dotblack-dot
Pamela Daleyorange-dotblack-dotblack-dot
Jessica P. Einhornblack-dot
Fabrizio Fredablack-dot
Murry S. Gerber
(Lead Independent Director)
black-dotorange-dotblack-dot
James Grosfeldblack-dotblack-dot
Sir Deryck Maughanblack-dotblack-dotorange-dotblack-dot
Cheryl D. Millsblack-dot
Gordon M. Nixonblack-dotblack-dot
Ivan G. Seidenbergblack-dotorange-dotblack-dot
Marco Antonio Slim Domitblack-dot
John S. Varleyblack-dot
Susan L. Wagnerblack-dot
NON-INDEPENDENT DIRECTORS
Laurence D. Finkorange-dot
Robert S. Kapito
William S. Demchakblack-dotblack-dot
Number of Meetings Held in 2016148660
Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 3.24.45 PM Chairperson

The Board met seven times during 2016. In 2016, each nominated director attended at least 75% of the aggregate of: (i) the total number of meetings of the Board held during the period for which such director was a member of the Board and (ii) the total number of meetings held by all Committees of the Board on which such director served, if any, during the periods served by such director. Directors are encouraged to and do attend the annual meetings of BlackRock shareholders. All 19 directors attended the 2016 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.

Board Committee Refreshment

The Governance Committee considers the periodic rotation of Committee members and Committee Chairs to introduce fresh perspectives and to broaden and diversify the views and experience represented on Board Committees. On March 9, 2017, the Board appointed Ms. Einhorn and Messrs. Seidenberg and Slim to serve as members of the MDCC, and Ms. Mills and Mr. Nixon to serve as members of the Governance Committee, effective May 24, 2017.

In addition, the Board appointed Mr. Seidenberg to serve as Chair of the MDCC and Mr. Nixon to serve as Chair of the Governance Committee, and in connection with that appointment, appointed Mr. Nixon to serve as a member of the Executive Committee, effective May 25, 2017. At such time, Messrs. Gerber and Seidenberg will conclude their service as Chairs of the MDCC and Governance Committee, respectively.

Audit Committee 
CHAIRMEMBERS
Pamela DaleyMathis Cabiallavetta
Murry S. Gerber
Sir Deryck Maughan
Ivan G. Seidenberg
Marco Antonio Slim Domit
John S. Varley
Role and Responsiblities
The Audit Committee’s primary responsibilities include oversight of: the integrity of BlackRock’s financial statements and public filings; the independent auditor’s qualifications and independence; the performance of BlackRock’s internal audit function and independent auditor; and BlackRock’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. It also prepares an Audit Committee Report as required by the SEC rules for inclusion in this Proxy Statement (see page 77).

The Audit Committee:
  • Receives regular reports on the progress and results of the internal audit program and approves BlackRock’s internal audit plan, as provided by BlackRock’s Head of Internal Audit, who also regularly attends Risk Committee meetings.

  • Receives regular external audit updates from BlackRock’s independent registered public accounting firm, Deloitte & Touche LLP (“Deloitte”).

  • Receives a regular report on litigation, regulatory and material ethics matters from BlackRock’s Chief Legal Officer.

  • Receives an annual financial controls report regarding compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“Sarbanes-Oxley”), which is prepared by the Head of Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance and presented by management.


The Audit Committee is also responsible for the appointment, compensation, retention and oversight of the independent registered public accounting firm retained to audit BlackRock’s financial statements. The Audit Committee exercises sole authority to approve all audit engagement fees and terms associated with the retention of Deloitte.

In addition to ensuring the regular rotation of the lead audit partner as required by law, the Audit Committee is involved in the selection of, and reviews and evaluates, the lead audit partner and considers whether, in order to ensure continuing auditor independence, there should be periodic rotation of the independent registered public accounting firm.

The Audit Committee regularly holds separate sessions with BlackRock’s management, internal auditors and Deloitte.

The Board has determined that no member of the Audit Committee has any material relationship with BlackRock and each such member is “independent” as defined in the NYSE listing standards and the applicable SEC rules. Furthermore, the Board has determined that each member of the Audit Committee is “financially literate,” as such qualification is interpreted by the Board based on its business judgment, qualifies as an “audit committee financial expert,” as defined in the applicable SEC rules, and has accounting and related financial management expertise within the meaning of the NYSE listing standards.
Management Development and Compensation Committee
ChairMembers
Murry S. GerberJames Grosfeld
Sir Deryck Maughan
Cheryl D. Mills
Gordon M. Nixon
Role and Responsibilities
  • Establishing the compensation of BlackRock’s executive officers;

  • Providing oversight of BlackRock’s employee benefit and compensation plans; and

  • Reviewing, assessing and making reports and recommendations to the Board of Directors on BlackRock’s talent development and the effective management of executive succession.


Additional information on the MDCC’s processes and procedures for consideration of NEO compensation is addressed in the MDCC Report on page 46 and “Compensation Discussion and Analysis” beginning on page 47.
Nominating and Governance Committee
CHAIRMEMBERS
Ivan G. SeidenbergAbdlatif Yousef Al-Hamad
Mathis Cabiallavetta
Fabrizio Freda
James Grosfeld
Role and Responsibilities
  • Identifying candidates qualified to become members of the Board;

  • Recommending to the Board the director nominees for the next annual meeting of shareholders;

  • Recommending to the Board the Corporate Governance Guidelines applicable to BlackRock;

  • Leading the Board in its annual review of the Board’s performance;

  • Recommending to the Board director nominees for each Board committee; and

  • Overseeing BlackRock’s Related Persons Transaction Policy.
Risk Committee
CHAIRMEMBERS
Sir Deryck MaughanAbdlatif Yousef Al-Hamad
Mathis Cabiallavetta
Pamela Daley
William S. Demchak
Jessica P. Einhorn
Gordon M. Nixon
Susan L. Wagner
Role and Responsibilities

The Risk Committee assists the Board with its oversight of the Company’s levels of risk, risk assessment risk management
and related policies and processes in connection with the following types of risk and related areas:

Enterprise Risks
  • Market risks from volatility in financial markets;

  • Credit risk of default by indemnified securities lending counterparties;

  • Operational risks from failed or inadequate processes relating to (i) operations, (ii) new products and services, (iii) third-party vendor relationships and (iv) model risk;

  • The impact of firm-wide risk assessments: the quantification and analysis of requirements (liquidity, insurance, capital or other risk mitigation) associated with our key risks;

  • Risks related to regulatory reform; and

  • Technology risks relating to information security, business continuity/resiliency and system capacity.


Fiduciary Risks
  • Investment risks being taken on behalf of clients in their portfolios or accounts;

  • Risks of default by client counterparties; and

  • Pricing and valuation risk that BlackRock’s counterparties misprice assets in client portfolios or accounts.


Other
  • Any other areas of risk delegated to the Risk Committee by the Board.


The Risk Committee also reviewed and discussed with management the Risk Factors included in the 2016 Form 10-K and received reports from members of management responsible for identifying and monitoring these risks.
Executive Committee
CHAIRMEMBERS
Laurence D. FinkPamela Daley
William S. Demchak
Murry S. Gerber
Sir Deryck Maughan
Ivan G. Seidenberg
Role and Responsibilities

The Executive Committee has all the powers of the Board, except as prohibited by applicable law, the PNC Stockholder Agreement and BlackRock’s Amended and Restated Bylaws (“Bylaws”), and except to the extent another Committee has been accorded authority over the matter. The Executive Committee may meet to exercise such powers between meetings of the Board.

The Executive Committee will only meet if a quorum for a full Board meeting cannot be obtained between regular meetings for emergency business.

Board and Committee Oversight of Risk Management

board-committees-full-board

Role of the Board Risk Committee

The Risk Committee regularly reviews a detailed risk profile report prepared by the Chief Risk Officer which covers a wide range of topics and potential issues that could impact BlackRock. These issues include, among other matters, investment performance, contractually indemnified risks, investment risks and counterparty risks of its asset management activities, balance sheet risks, business continuity risks, including those related to natural disasters or terrorist attacks, risks related to financial crimes and fraud, and other operational risks.

The Risk Committee engages the Company’s key risk management executives on the framework for risk management within BlackRock and the process for actively identifying adverse events and/or circumstances relevant to BlackRock’s objectives and activities, as well as risk management roles, policies and responsibilities.

Corporate Governance Practices and Policies

Director Independence

The Board determines annually the independence of directors in accordance with NYSE listing standards. No director is considered independent unless the Board has determined that he or she has no material relationship with BlackRock. The Board has adopted categorical standards to assist it in determining whether certain relationships between the members of the Board and BlackRock or its affiliates and subsidiaries (either directly or as a partner, shareholder or officer of an organization that has a relationship with BlackRock) are material relationships for purposes of NYSE listing standards. The categorical standards provide that the following relationships are not material for such purposes:

  • relationships arising in the ordinary course of business, such as asset management, acting as trustee, lending, deposit, banking or other financial service relationships or other relationships involving the provision of products or services, so long as the products and services are being provided in the ordinary course of business and on substantially the same terms and conditions, including price, as would be available to similarly situated customers;
  • relationships with companies of which a director is a shareholder or partnerships of which a director is a partner, provided the director is not a principal shareholder of the company or a principal partner of the partnership;
  • contributions made or pledged to charitable organizations of which a director or an immediate family member of the director is an executive officer, director or trustee if (i) within the preceding three years, the aggregate amount of such contributions during any single fiscal year of the charitable organization did not exceed the greater of $1 million or 2% of the charitable organization’s consolidated gross revenues for that fiscal year, and (ii) the charitable organization is not a family foundation created by the director or an immediate family member of the director; and
  • relationships involving a director’s relative unless the relative is an immediate family member of the director.

As part of its determination, the Board also considered the relationships described under “Certain Relationships and Related Transactions.” Following its review, the Board of Directors has determined that Mmes. Daley, Einhorn, Mills and Wagner and Messrs. Al-Hamad, Cabiallavetta, Freda, Gerber, Grosfeld, Komansky, Maughan, Nixon, O’Brien, Robbins, Seidenberg, Slim and Varley are “independent” as defined in the NYSE listing standards and that none of the relationships between such directors and BlackRock are material under the NYSE listing standards. Following the 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, assuming the nominated directors are elected, BlackRock’s Board is expected to consist of 18 directors, 15 of whom, representing approximately 83% of the Board, will be “independent” as defined in the NYSE listing standards.

Policy Engagement, Transparency and Protecting Investors

As part of our responsibilities to our shareholders and clients, BlackRock advocates for public policies that we believe are in our shareholders’ and clients’ long-term best interests. We support regulation that increases financial market transparency, protects investors and facilitates responsible growth of capital markets, while preserving consumer choice and properly balancing benefits versus implementation costs. BlackRock comments on public policy topics through, among other things, our published ViewPoints, which examine public policy issues and assess their implications for investors, and through comment letters and consultation responses that we submit to policy makers. We believe in the value of open dialogue and transparency on these important issues; our position papers and letters are available on the “News & Insights—Public Policy” section of our website.

Governance of Public Policy Engagement

BlackRock believes that responsible corporate citizenship requires active engagement in legislative and regulatory processes. Our engagement with policy makers and advocacy on public policy issues is coordinated by our Government Relations and Public Policy team (“Public Policy team”). Members of the Public Policy team work closely with the Company’s business and legal teams to identify legislative and regulatory priorities, both regionally and globally, that will protect investors, increase shareholder value and facilitate responsible economic growth.

The head of the Public Policy team is a member of the Company’s Global Executive and Operating Committees and regularly briefs these committees on our public policy priorities and related advocacy efforts. In addition, the head of Public Policy also attends the meetings of the Board’s Risk Committee and keeps directors apprised of, and engaged in, the Company’s legislative and regulatory priorities and advocacy initiatives. The Public Policy team and executive leadership regularly meet with and exchange views on legislation and regulatory priorities with public officials and policy makers, regionally and globally, and provide such individuals with educational materials to help inform their decisions.

Trade Associations

As part of the Company’s engagement in the public policy process, BlackRock participates in a number of trade organizations and industry groups. The principal trade association that we belong to is the Investment Company Institute. We also actively participate in the Asset Management Group of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the European Fund and Asset Management Association and the Investment Association. The Company makes payments to these organizations, including membership fees and/or dues. However, BlackRock does not control these entities and may not always be aware of the entities’ activities. We recognize that these organizations and groups represent numerous other companies and there may be instances where their positions on certain issues diverge from those of BlackRock.

As an asset manager, BlackRock focuses on issues that impact the asset management industry and the clients for whom we act as agent in managing assets. In general, BlackRock’s efforts are focused at the national or regional level, rather than at a state-specific level.

Political Participation

Our ability to engage policy makers and participate in the public policy arena is subject to extensive laws and regulations at the international, federal, state and local levels. Under United States federal law, BlackRock may not contribute corporate funds or make in-kind contributions to candidates for federal office or to national party committees. In addition to federal limits on corporate political action, our political contributions at the state and local level in the United States are governed by Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Rule G-37, SEC Rule 206(4)-5 and CFTC Rule 23.451, as well as applicable state and local law. Accordingly, BlackRock does not contribute corporate funds to candidates, political party committees, political action committees or any political organization exempt from federal income taxes under Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code. Although permitted under federal law, BlackRock has also voluntarily elected not to spend corporate funds directly on independent expenditures, including electioneering communications. In addition, BlackRock does not engage in state-level lobbying on asset management industry issues. All contributions required to be disclosed under the Lobbying Disclosure Act are publicly available at http://lobbyingdisclosure.house.gov.

BlackRock maintains a federal political action committee (“PAC”) that is funded in accordance with applicable federal law on a voluntary basis by U.S.-based employees of the Company. The PAC makes contributions at the federal level on a bi-partisan basis consistent with the Company’s contribution policies and public policy goals and without regard to the private political preferences of management. As required by law, all political contributions by the PAC are reported to the Federal Election Commission and are publicly disclosed at www.fec.gov.

BlackRock maintains compliance processes designed to ensure that its activities are conducted in accordance with this policy and all relevant laws governing political contributions in the United States. All employees are required to annually review and acknowledge their compliance responsibilities regarding political contributions and must submit all of their proposed personal political contributions to our Legal and Compliance Department to determine if such contributions are consistent with applicable legal restrictions.

Shareholder Engagement and Outreach

We conduct shareholder outreach throughout the year to engage with shareholders on issues that are important to them. We report back to our Board on this engagement as well as specific issues that need to be addressed.

Executive management, Investor Relations and the Corporate Secretary engage on a regular basis with shareholders to solicit feedback on a variety of corporate governance matters, including but not limited to executive compensation, corporate governance policies and corporate sustainability practices. BlackRock also routinely interacts and communicates with shareholders through a number of other forums, including quarterly earnings presentations, SEC filings, the Annual Report and Proxy Statement, the annual shareholder meeting, investor meetings and conferences and web communications. We share our shareholder feedback and trends, and developments about corporate governance matters with our Board and its Committees as we seek to enhance our governance practices and improve our disclosures.

Also see “Compensation Discussion and Analysis” beginning on page 47 for a discussion of our compensation related shareholder engagement initiatives and our historical say-on-pay vote results.

Communications with the Board

Shareholders and other interested parties may contact any member (or all members) of the Board, any Board Committee or any Chairperson of any such Committee by mail or electronically. To do so, correspondence should be addressed to the Board or any individual director or group or committee of directors by either name or title.

Correspondence may be sent by:

Mail:

BlackRock, Inc.
Attn: Board of Directors
c/o Corporate Communications Department
55 East 52nd Street
New York, New York 10055

Online:

Go to the BlackRock website at www.blackrock.com. Under the headings “Our Firm / Investor Relations / Company Overview & Governance / Contact Our Board of Directors”, you will find a link that may be used for writing an electronic message to the Board, the Lead Independent Director, any individual director or any group or committee of directors.

 

BlackRock’s Corporate Communications and Legal and Compliance Departments and the Corporate Secretary will review all communications received for the sole purpose of determining whether the contents represent a message to our directors. Concerns relating to accounting, internal controls or auditing matters are brought to the attention of the Chairperson of the Audit Committee and handled in accordance with procedures established by the Audit Committee.

Shareholders are encouraged to visit the “Our Firm / Investor Relations / Company Overview & Governance” page of the BlackRock website at www.blackrock.com to see the Corporate Governance Guidelines, Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, Code of Ethics for Chief Executive and Senior Financial Officers and additional information about BlackRock’s Board and its Committees and corporate governance policies.

The charters for each of the Audit Committee, the MDCC, the Governance Committee, the Risk Committee and the Executive Committee can be found at the same website address. BlackRock intends to satisfy any disclosure requirements regarding any amendment to, or waiver from, a provision of the Code of Ethics for Chief Executive and Senior Financial Officers by posting such information on its corporate website.

BlackRock will provide a copy of these documents without charge to each shareholder upon written request. Requests for copies should be addressed to the Corporate Secretary, BlackRock, Inc., 55 East 52nd Street, New York, New York 10055.

2016 Director Compensation

Directors receive compensation, including fees and reimbursements of expenses, for their service and dedication to our Company. We recognize the substantial time and effort required to serve as director of a large global investment firm. The goal of our director compensation program is to attract, motivate and retain directors capable of making significant contributions to the long-term success of our Company. In order to align the interest of our directors with the interests of our shareholders, our independent directors are required to own and maintain a minimum target number of shares, having a value equivalent to five times their annual board retainer.

The MDCC is responsible for reviewing director compensation and making recommendations to the Board. The MDCC reviews the Board’s compensation levels semi-annually. The MDCC also reviews the Board compensation practices of peer corporations. For more information on these peer groups, please refer to “Role of the Compensation Consultant and Competitive Benchmarking” on page 57.

HOW OUR DIRECTOR COMPENSATION PROGRAM ALIGNS WITH LONG-TERM SHAREHOLDER INTERESTS

FOCUS ON EQUITY COMPENSATION

The largest portion of independent director compensation is the annual equity grant, payable in deferred stock units

NO HEDGING OR PLEDGING

Directors are prohibited from hedging BlackRock common stock or equity grants and may not pledge shares as loan collateral

STOCK/EQUITY OWNERSHIP REQUIREMENT

All independent directors are required to own and maintain a minimum target number of shares, equivalent to five times the annual board retainer

2016 Elements of Director Compensation

The following table shows the elements of director compensation provided by BlackRock in 2016. For 2016, each independent director received a Board Annual Retainer of $75,000 plus meeting fees of $1,500, paid quarterly in January, April, July, and October, based on service during the prior quarter. At least $25,000 of the annual retainer, or a pro rata portion thereof in the event that a director’s service is less than a full year, is paid in the form of BlackRock common stock. Each director who received compensation had the right to elect to receive BlackRock common stock in lieu of all or a portion of his or her annual Board and Committee retainers in excess of $25,000.

In addition, deferred stock units valued at $150,000 were granted on the last business day of the first quarter of 2016. These deferred stock units vest immediately and are settled in shares of BlackRock common stock on the last day of the month in which the third anniversary of the date of grant occurs. Deferred stock units have no voting rights. Dividend equivalents accrue and are paid in the form of cash. Additional cash compensation was paid for certain committees and other services, as described below.

Director-Comp-Elements

(1) New Board members rotating through committees receive one general committee retainer and committee meeting fees for the meetings they attend. Retainers and meeting fees are paid in January, April, July and October, based on service during the prior quarter. From time to time, the Company also makes available, as an accommodation to all of its directors upon request, basic office space at its existing locations and administrative support, as needed.
(2) Annual award granted on the last business day of the first quarter of each year to all directors serving on that date and delivered on the earlier of (i) the third anniversary of the date of grant and (ii) the date such director ceases to be a member of the Board.

2016 Total Director Compensation

Directors in 2016 who were also employees of BlackRock or designees of PNC are not listed in the table below because they did not receive compensation for serving as directors or committee members. In 2016, directors who were not employees of BlackRock or designees of PNC each received the amounts detailed in the table below and were also reimbursed for reasonable travel and related expenses. Each director who received compensation received at least $25,000 of his or her annual retainer, or a pro rata portion in the event that a director’s service is less than a full year, in the form of BlackRock common stock. In addition, each director who received compensation had the right to elect to receive BlackRock common stock in lieu of all or a portion of his or her annual Board and Committee retainers in excess of $25,000.

2016 Total Director Compensation Table

2016-director-comp

(1) Includes the shares of common stock granted on March 31, June 30, September 30 and December 30, 2016, respectively, based on closing market prices on such dates of $340.57, $342.53, $362.46 and $380.54, respectively, awarded at the election of the director in lieu of all or a portion of his or her board annual retainer and/or meeting fees in excess of $25,000. Each of the following directors elected to receive common stock in lieu of the following amounts: Mr. Al- Hamad – $80,500; Mr. Cabiallavetta – $20,995; Ms. Daley – $106,000; Mr. Freda – $70,000; Mr. Grosfeld – $89,000; Mr. Maughan – $119,250; Ms. Mills – $78,500; Mr. Nixon – $84,000; Mr. Seidenberg – $107,500; and Mr. Slim – $89,000.
(2) Includes the annual RSU grants to each director of 410 RSUs of BlackRock with a grant date fair value of $150,000 pursuant to FASB ASC Topic 718. For complete valuation assumptions of the awards, see Note 14 to the consolidated financial statements in our 2016 Form 10-K. As of December 31, 2016, each non-employee director had the following outstanding RSUs: 1,326 shares for each of Messrs. Al-Hamad, Cabiallavetta, Freda, Gerber, Grosfeld, Komansky, Maughan, O’Brien, Seidenberg, Slim, Varley, Ms. Einhorn, Ms. Daley, Ms. Mills and Ms. Wagner; and 440 shares for Mr. Nixon. The RSUs are fully vested on the grant date and are settled on the earlier of the third anniversary of the grant date or the director’s departure from the Board.
(3) Includes the shares of common stock granted on March 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31, 2016, respectively, based on closing market prices on such dates of $340.57, $342.53, $362.46 and $380.54, respectively, awarded in respect of the $25,000 of the annual retainer that is required to be paid in the form of common stock. The entire expense for these awards was recorded on the date of grant.

Changes for 2017

During 2016, based on the MDCC’s recommendation, the full Board voted to:

  • increase the annual equity grant from $150,000 to $175,000 in 2017 to better align pay with the external market; and
  • provide separate compensation fees for the roles of the Lead Independent Director and the Governance Committee Chairman of $40,000 and $15,000 ($10,000 Chairperson plus $5,000 Member retainer), respectively. Prior to 2016, these two roles were combined.

 

Other Executive Officers

In addition to Messrs. Fink and Kapito, whose biographical information is included on pages 14 and 16 respectively, the following is a list of individuals serving as executive officers of BlackRock as of the date of this Proxy Statement, each of whom also serves on BlackRock’s GEC. All of BlackRock’s executive officers serve at the discretion of the Board or Chief Executive Officer.

David J. Blumer
age 48
Senior Managing Director, has been Head of the Europe, Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”) region of BlackRock since 2013. Prior to joining BlackRock, Mr. Blumer worked at Swiss Re Ltd., where he most recently served as the Chief Investment Officer (“CIO”). In addition to his CIO role, Mr. Blumer also held other senior positions at Swiss Re Ltd. after joining in 2008, including Head of Asset Management, Chairman of Admin Re and a member of the Executive Committee.
Robert W. Fairbairn
age 51
Senior Managing Director, oversees the Strategic Partner Program, which is responsible for BlackRock’s largest client relationships, and the Strategic Product Management Group, which is responsible for the firm’s overall product strategy and product suite. From 2012 to 2016, Mr. Fairbairn served as global head of the Retail and iShares® businesses. Mr. Fairbairn was Head of the Global Client Group from 2009 to 2012 and Vice Chairman and Chairman of BlackRock’s EMEA Pacific business from 2006 to 2009.
Robert L. Goldstein
age 43
Senior Managing Director, has been Chief Operating Officer of BlackRock since 2014 and has led BlackRock Solutions® since 2009. Mr. Goldstein was the Head of BlackRock’s Institutional Client Business from 2012 to 2014. Mr. Goldstein has spent his entire career at BlackRock, beginning in 1994 as an analyst in the Company’s Portfolio Analytics Group.
J. Richard Kushel
age 50
Senior Managing Director, has been Global Head of Multi-Asset Strategies since February 2016. From 2014 to 2016, Mr. Kushel was Chief Product Officer and Head of Strategic Product Management of BlackRock, from 2012 to 2014, he was Deputy Chief Operating Officer of BlackRock, from 2010 to 2012, he was the Head of the Portfolio Management Group of BlackRock, and from 2009 to 2010, he was the Chairman of BlackRock’s International platform. Prior to that, Mr. Kushel headed BlackRock’s International Institutional platform and BlackRock’s Alternatives and Wealth Management Groups. Mr. Kushel has been with BlackRock since 1991.
Mark S. McCombe
age 51
Senior Managing Director, has been Head of the Americas region and Global Head of BlackRock Alternative Investors since 2017. Mr. McCombe served as the Global Head of BlackRock’s Institutional Client Business from 2014 to 2016, the Global Co-Head of BlackRock Alternative Investors from 2015 to 2017 and as the Chairman of BlackRock Alternative Investors from 2014 to 2017. He was the Chairman of BlackRock’s Asia Pacific region from 2012 to 2014. Before joining BlackRock, Mr. McCombe served as Chief Executive Officer in Hong Kong for The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited from 2010 to 2011. He was also a Group General Manager of HSBC plc, Non-Executive Director of Hang Seng Bank Ltd., and Chairman of HSBC Global Asset Management (HK) Ltd.
Christopher J. Meade
age 48
Senior Managing Director, has been Chief Legal Officer of BlackRock since 2016 and General Counsel since 2015. Before joining BlackRock in 2015, Mr. Meade was the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Previously, Mr. Meade was a partner with the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. Earlier in his career, Mr. Meade served as a law clerk to Justice John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Gary S. Shedlin
age 53
Senior Managing Director, has been Chief Financial Officer of BlackRock since 2013. Prior to joining BlackRock, Mr. Shedlin was Vice Chairman, Investment Banking and a Managing Director in the Financial Institutions Group at Morgan Stanley from 2010 to 2013. Prior to that, Mr. Shedlin worked at Citigroup from 2004 to 2010, where he most recently served as Chairman of the Financial Institutions Group. Previously, Mr. Shedlin worked at Lazard Ltd. from 1990 to 2004, where he served as Managing Director and the Co-Head of the Financial Institutions Group.
Jeffrey A. Smith, Ph.D.
age 46
Senior Managing Director, has been Head of Global Human Resources of BlackRock since 2009. Prior to joining BlackRock in 2009, Dr. Smith was the Global Head of Human Resources of Barclays Global Investors since 2007.
Ryan D. Stork
age 45
Senior Managing Director, has been BlackRock’s Chairman, Asia Pacific since 2014. From 2008 to 2014, Mr. Stork was Global Head of the Aladdin® business within BlackRock Solutions and from 2005 to 2008 he was based out of BlackRock’s London office and responsible for business development and client service across the region. Between 1999 and 2005, Mr. Stork worked within BlackRock’s institutional business. Prior to joining BlackRock, Mr. Stork worked at PennCorp Financial Group and Conning Asset Management.

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