You have read here, here, here, and elsewhere from Your Survival Guy about the dangers posed by ESG investing. Now a movement of investors is working hard to push back against it. An initiative fostered by the Job Creators Network Foundation, the Free Enterprise Project, and Second Vote, has created The Boardroom Initiative “to defend shareholders, employees, and communities from “woke” policies at corporations and ensure corporate accountability.” In a press release they explain:
By increasingly wading into the culture wars, companies threaten shareholder returns and retirement security for countless Americans. They also threaten their employees and communities that depend on these companies for jobs and economic growth. Ed Rensi, former president and CEO of McDonald’s USA, will lead The Boardroom Initiative as Executive Chairman.
The Boardroom Initiative fights back against woke capitalism and empowers shareholders and employees as we strengthen our consumer-driven economy. Coalition partners will work to realign corporations with their core business goals through shareholder proposals, advancing viewpoint diversity on company boards, and utilizing digital channels to spread awareness of our mission.
“I have served on the board of McDonald’s Corporation, Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que, Great Wolf Resorts, Snap-on Inc., JAFRA, and a few others,” said Mr. Rensi. “In every case those board members adhered to best practices for the benefit of the shareholders and the public good. Serving a vocal minority out of ignorance is absolutely unacceptable. When public companies take sides in political debates, it is to the detriment of company shareholders. Free market capitalism—a system responsible for lifting billions out of poverty and improving the worldwide standard of living—is under attack, and in too many cases, corporations are eagerly participating in these attacks out of a misplaced sense of virtue. The Boardroom Initiative, among other things, will take this fight directly into the boardroom by giving shareholders the tools to win the fight through shareholder proposals. I am pleased to lead this initiative and I am certain it will play a critical role in the fight for economic freedom and fair, fact-based civic discourse.”
The Boardroom Initiative’s first effort is a shareholder proposal at next week’s Bank of America annual meeting calling for a civil rights audit of the diversity policies at the company to ensure no race or gender groups are being excluded in the name of equity or anti-racism. The Boardroom Initiative coalition partner, Free Enterprise Project, has submitted the proposal. The Bank of America Board will vote on the proposal on April 26, 2022.
Action Line: Hopefully Rensi and The Boardroom Initiative can turn the tide against “woke” investing. You can avoid ESG investing by buying individual stocks and bonds. If you need help, I would love to talk with you.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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