BlackRock, the pet peeve of opponents of pension reform

The New York headquarters of the BlackRock investment management firm on Friday, February 5, 2016. BlackRock has bought approximately 30% of Authentic Brands Group, owner of iconic brands such as Aeropostale, Juicy Couture, Sports Illustrated and others. The deal values Authentic between $4 and $4.5 billion. ( Richard B. Levine) Photo via Newscom/lrphotos124818.JPG/Richard B. Levine/Newscom/SIPA/1908122118

The world’s largest asset manager is accused by several media of influencing pension reform to serve its own interests, an argument that resonates with Parliament.

This is a controversy that BlackRock would have done well. In recent days, the world’s leading asset manager has been caught up in the debate over pension reform.  “BlackRock blows his advice for capitalization by the ear of power,” denounces Mediapart, who accuses the manager of wanting to “dynamize the retirement pay-as-you-go.”

“An American giant of finance to the assault of the retreats of the French”, outbid L’Humanité. The Republican deputy of Eure-et-Loire, Olivier Marleix, even moved in Parliament of the opportunities offered by the pension reform to the manager. “If your reform comes to an end, the business of BlackRock in France will take a huge boost,” he said during questions to the government.

These accusations are rooted in a note published by BlackRock last June, in the wake of the retirement savings reform. “Pact Law: the right retirement plan,” then enthused the company to more than 6,900 billion dollars of assets. The aim of harmonizing supplementary retirement savings products is to increase assets under management in the sector from 230 billion euros to more than 300 billion by 2022.

High income pushed towards capitalization

An objective that could benefit from a boost as part of the reform currently under discussion. The highest incomes should no longer contribute to their retirement on the part of their remuneration higher than 10,000 euros per month. If they want to compensate for this loss of pension rights, they will have to save.

All this attention puts the American manager in embarrassment. “We do not comment on these articles, which are otherwise inaccurate,” says a spokesman. The group said it was unfairly targeted because it estimated in its June note that the pay-as-you-go system would remain “at the heart of French retirement savings”. He is not the only one interested in the opportunities offered by the Pact Act. All managers and insurers are on the curb.

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