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Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Fundster CEOs Address George Floyd's Death

News summary by MFWire's editors

Some top fundsters are speaking up after the death in Minneapolis last week of George Floyd, a black man, after a white police officer kneeled on his neck. Floyd's death on May 25 has since sparked a wave of protests and violence in a number of U.S. cities.

Jeffrey E. Gundlach
DoubleLine Capital
On May 27, Jeffrey Gundlach, CEO of DoubleLine Capital, tweeted, that "the George Floyd murder video is the most disgusting and discouraging thing so far in this year of remarkable discouragement." Then on May 31, Gundlach reacted to the ensuing protests, tweeting:
"To everyone who is upset about the way things are going I have some news. You can vote a different regime into office from top to bottom if you want to. Stop complaining and do it.

Meanwhile, on May 30, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, sent a note to his employees (and publicly shared that note) regarding "Recent Events of Racial Injustice." Like Gundlach, Fink refers to Floyd's death as murder. Fink also mentions both Ahmaud Arbery (an unarmed black man who was fatally shot in February in Georgia) and a now-infamous bird watcher-dog walker confrontation in Central Park.

"I am appalled — as is anyone who cares about diversity, fairness and justice," Fink writes.

Fink discusses BlackRock's efforts to support BlackRock team members "suffering pain from these tragedies" and to address racial bias and racial disparity. He also ties in the pandemic.

"We have watched for months as the tragedy of COVID-19 has disproportionately hurt communities of color, as they have suffered more COVID cases and endured a greater share of the economic hardship than the rest of the population," Fink writes. "Now, that pain has been compounded by these new incidents of racial injustice."

At Franklin Templeton, new CEO Jenny Johnson will reach out to her team again this week (after addressing the viral Central Park confrontation last week), a company spokeswoman told Citywire. And a Wells Fargo Asset Management spokeswoman told the pub that CEO Nico Marais would reach out to employees, too.

Other leaders speaking up included those at J.P. Morgan (parent of J.P. Morgan Asset Management) and Prudential (parent of PGIM). 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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