BlackRock Increased Fink’s Pay 18% to $29.9 Million for 2020

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BlackRock Inc. gave Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink $29.9 million in total compensation for 2020, an 18% increase from the previous year.

Fink received a base salary of $1.5 million, a cash payment of $9.5 million, deferred equity compensation of $3.95 million and a long-term incentive award of $14.9 million, according to the company’s proxy statement Thursday.

Despite the turmoil of the Covid-19 pandemic, BlackRock ended 2020 with a record $8.68 trillion in assets under management. The company’s five senior executives named in the proxy all received increases in compensation of 18% or more, on assessments that their performance “far exceeds” expectations, according to the filing.

The firm’s president, Rob Kapito, saw his total compensation increase 23% to $24.6 million. Chief Operating Officer Rob Goldstein and the firm’s corporate strategy head, Mark Wiedman, got about $11.8 million and $10.5 million, respectively. Both men are widely viewed as potential contenders to succeed Fink.

BlackRock will also undergo an external review of its diversity strategy, according to an internal memo sent by the firm’s head of human resources Manish Mehta on Thursday. That makes it one of the first major Wall Street firms to agree to a racial audit. Corporate America is grappling with diversity and inclusion, which has bubbled up to board rooms across the country. Investors in major financial firms have been demanding audits of their diversity practices.

Separately, BlackRock said it’s recommending that shareholders approve some other governance-related changes, after PNC Financial Services Group Inc. sold out of its stake in the company in May. Those changes include allowing investors who own 15% or more of BlackRock’s shares to call special meetings, and eliminating the super-majority vote requirements needed to alter certain underlying rules at the company.

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