Declared lobbyists: 2.5 FTE
Lobby spend: €1.25m – €1.5m (2016)
Its name rings few bells outside financial circles, but with over $5 trillion in assets, BlackRock is the biggest investor in the world and, as of 2013, the single biggest shareholder in global corporations such as JPMorgan Chase, ExxonMobil, Shell, Apple, McDonald’s and Nestlé.
Its reach extends to sovereign debt, commodities, property speculation, and beyond. BlackRock is a member of the ‘Group of Thirty’ or G30 which meets regularly with the European Central Bank (ECB). This exclusive club of the heads of big financial corporations and central bankers advocates deregulation or self-regulation of the financial sector instead of strong international rules. ECB President Mario Draghi himself is a member; following a complaint by Corporate Europe Observatory, in 2017 the European Ombudsman opened an inquiry to investigate the proximity between the bank and the G30.
In an astonishing revolving door hiring in early 2017, BlackRock made former UK Finance Minister George Osborne an adviser, learning more than £200,000 a year for the part-time gig. BlackRock’s connections are at the highest level with CEO Larry Fink joining US President Donald Trump’s business advisory council, where he is trying to steer Trump ‘back on track’ over globalisation and trade.