BlackRock, the world’s largest asset-management company, invests a colossal $6 trillion on behalf of its clients.

And in his latest annual letter to chief executives, Larry Fink – BlackRock’s own CEO – emphasized the importance not of esoteric fiscal regulations or exciting new investment vehicles.

Instead, he cited the need for today’s companies to embody a clear social purpose.

“Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose,” Fink wrote. “Without a sense of purpose, no company, either public or private, can achieve its full potential. It will ultimately lose the license to operate from key stakeholders.”

Fink further suggested that publicly-listed firms that do not have such a mission will be more vulnerable to “short-term pressure to distribute earnings” – and thus possess fewer resources to invest in the supporting pillars of long-term growth, like invnovation, developing talent, and capital expenditure.