BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, is a fixture at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. But with more than $9 trillion under its control, BlackRock isn't in Davos, Switzerland, to answer questions from independent journalists like Rebel News.
Earlier this week before the summit even kicked off, BlackRock tried to exert some of its influence on our team in Davos.
With the WEF gathering now into is final stretch, Rebel News' Ezra Levant and Avi Yemini managed to catch up with Philipp Hildebrand, vice chairman of BlackRock, and the man who oversees the company's Investment Institute and Sustainable and Transition Solutions departments.
The Rebel reporters attempted to get Hildebrand's thoughts on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, given BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said the term had become too politicized, as Reuters reported earlier this year.
Tellingly, Fink also said that while he may avoid the “weaponized” term, his stance on ESG hadn't changed.
As the journalists walked down the Davos Promenade, the BlackRock executive was popular enough among those visiting Davos to be recognized on the street, including one woman stopping him for a picture.
Getting an answer from Hildebrand, however, was far more difficult.
He refused to comment on the injection of politics into fiduciary duties, why the company is attending the Davos summit, questions about disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and the company's refusal to answer unscripted questions from independent journalists.
Hildebrand's silence flies in the face of the theme of this year's WEF summit, "Rebuilding Trust".
“Do you think being stony silent on these questions builds trust?” Ezra Levant asked, only to be met with more silence. “Do you answer to any media, or only ones you own?”
Shifting gears to another topic, the Rebels asked about BlackRock's involvement in the Russia-Ukraine war, especially its role in arms sales and its agreement to help rebuild Ukraine after the war.
Yet again, more silence from Hildebrand.
Avi Yemini likened this to BlackRock acting like both an arsonist who starts the fire and a firefighter who comes to extinguish it.
“Larry Fink's going to give you a raise for being stony silent and not answering any questions,” Levant said. “Your silence says everything,” Yemini added.
Follow all of Rebel News' coverage from Davos, and help support our independent journalism at WEFreports.com.