You have watched state after state push back on ESG investing as money managers use their power over the funds to pursue increasingly political ends. Florida has now joined others in pulling money out of funds at BlackRock, the money manager best known for doggedly pursuing its green agenda using ESG fund power. Angel Au-Yeung reports for The Wall Street Journal:
The backlash continues for BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager. Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced Thursday that the state’s treasury would begin pulling out $2 billion of assets that are currently under management by BlackRock.
The sunshine state cited the firm’s support for environmental, social and governance investing.
“BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is on a campaign to change the world,” Mr. Patronis said in a press release. “Using our cash, however, to fund BlackRock’s social-engineering project isn’t something Florida ever signed up for.”
BlackRock said it was “surprised by the Florida CFO’s decision given the strong returns BlackRock has delivered to Florida taxpayers over the last five years” in a series of tweets posted Thursday afternoon. “Fiduciaries should always value performance over politics.” The firm manages some $8 trillion in total assets.
Mr. Patronis said Florida’s state treasury will have transferred all its short and long-term investments to another asset manager by early 2023.
Florida follows Louisiana, which pledged to pull $794 million from BlackRock funds in October because of BackRock’s support for ESG. The asset manager has been forced to walk a political tightrope on climate issues.
Action Line: Recently, Elon Musk called ESG “the devil.” You’ve certainly read plenty about that here. Don’t allow your investments to be used by unscrupulous money managers to pursue their own political agendas. Invest in a portfolio of individual securities and control your own voting rights. If you need help building a portfolio like that, let’s talk. In the meantime, get to know me better by clicking here to subscribe to my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter.