BlackRock (BLK.N) has appointed Leigh Farris as its global head of corporate communications, a move aimed at reinforcing its leadership team amid heightened scrutiny of the asset management giant’s stance on socially and environmentally conscious capitalism. Farris, who previously served in a similar capacity at buyout giant Carlyle (CG.O) since 2019, is set to join BlackRock in March, succeeding Jim Badenhausen.
With an extensive background in senior communications roles at notable organisations such as Goldman Sachs (GS.N), General Electric (GE.N), and CBS News, Farris brings a wealth of experience to her new role, as outlined in an internal memo viewed by Reuters.
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has been a target of criticism from U.S. politicians across the political spectrum. Republicans have accused the firm of injecting politics into investments by emphasising environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations, while Democrats argue that BlackRock isn’t doing enough to address climate change.
In response to these challenges, BlackRock has defended its position. CEO Larry Fink announced last year that the company would no longer use the term ESG, describing it as “weaponised.” Fink emphasised that BlackRock would not backtrack on its commitment to sustainable investing despite the controversies surrounding its approach.