Canada markets open in 6 hours 33 minutes
  • S&P/TSX

    +129.42 (+0.57%)
  • S&P 500

    +30.81 (+0.55%)
  • DOW

    +247.10 (+0.62%)

    -0.0016 (-0.21%)

    -0.08 (-0.10%)
  • Bitcoin CAD

    +4,160.01 (+5.09%)
  • CMC Crypto 200

    +38.27 (+3.01%)

    -11.60 (-0.48%)
  • RUSSELL 2000

    +23.23 (+1.09%)
  • 10-Yr Bond

    -0.0040 (-0.10%)
  • NASDAQ futures

    +92.25 (+0.45%)

    -0.46 (-3.56%)
  • FTSE

    +29.57 (+0.36%)
  • NIKKEI 225

    -1,033.32 (-2.45%)

    -0.0002 (-0.03%)

BlackRock directors keep seats at six funds in proxy battle with Saba

FILE PHOTO: The BlackRock logo is seen outside of its offices in New York

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

NEW YORK (Reuters) - BlackRock held onto board seats at six closed end funds last week after investment firm Saba Capital Management did not secure enough votes to replace directors or fire the fund manager, according to data released by BlackRock on Tuesday.

"Based on the preliminary results from last week's shareholder meetings, it is clear that shareholders have rejected both Saba's nominees and its efforts to displace BlackRock as investment advisor to the Funds," BlackRock said in a statement. The results have not been previously reported.

Saba, run by prominent investor Boaz Weinstein, and BlackRock, the world's biggest asset management company with more than $10 trillion in assets under management, have been locked in battle for months over the future of 10 BlackRock closed end funds.


Saba wants investors to elect its nominees to the BlackRock funds' boards and fire BlackRock as manager at some of them.

Weinstein has argued the funds have posted poor returns and wants them to offer to buy back shares from investors. Some $1.4 billion in value could be unlocked at the funds by cutting the funds' discount to their net asset value, he has said. BlackRock has argued that it has taken action to improve performance and that its directors are better choices than Saba's nominees.

Investors voted at six BlackRock funds (, and) last week and meetings at BNY and BSTZ have been adjourned due to a failure to achieve quorum.

Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) wrote earlier that the vote standard for director elections at BlackRock can "function as an entrenchment mechanism" that can make it tough for an activist investor to win a proxy contest.

"BlackRock maintains a vote requirement that is effectively impossible to achieve and was put in place to create failed elections," Weinstein said in a statement. "While Saba has challenged this entrenchment tactic in court, we are pleased that our fellow shareholders also want to hold BlackRock accountable for destroying billions in value," he added.

Votes for four funds take place this week. The funds are BlackRock Innovation and Growth Term Trust, BlackRock Health Sciences Term Trust, BlackRock ESG Capital Allocation Term Trust and BlackRock Capital Allocation Term Trust. Preliminary results, including for BIGZ where the voting happened on Tuesday, are not yet available, BlackRock said. The 10 BlackRock funds jointly oversee roughly $10 billion in assets.

While ISS noted that corporate governance remains a concern at the funds, it also wrote that "BlackRock demonstrated attention to the key issues for shareholders, rather than focusing entirely on nebulous criticisms of Saba."

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Josie Kao)