Missouri State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick announced on Tuesday that the state’s retirement system sold $500 million in public equities managed by BlackRock over the firm’s commitment to environmental, social, and governance investing, also known as ESG.
The news comes after several conservative states divested more than $1 billion in funds from BlackRock, leading to concerns on Wall Street about the asset management company’s risk profile and inducing a mild stock market selloff. Fitzpatrick said in a statement provided to The Daily Wire that the divestment is “the right thing to do” for Missouri state employees who rely on the funds for their retirement plans.
“Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet.” Daniel 7:19
“Fiduciary duty must remain the top priority for investment managers — a duty some of them have abdicated in favor of forcing a left wing social and political agenda that has failed to succeed legislatively,” Fitzpatrick said. “We should not allow asset managers such as BlackRock, who have demonstrated that they will prioritize advancing a woke political agenda above the financial interests of their customers, to continue speaking on behalf of the state of Missouri.”
While South Carolina pulled $200 million from BlackRock due to the company’s “leftist worldview,” which causes executives to “undermine” their fiduciary responsibilities, Louisiana also announced intentions earlier this month to divest a total of nearly $800 million from BlackRock. Weeks earlier, the state of Texas revealed that BlackRock and nine other firms had violated state law by “refusing to deal with” or “terminating business activities with” companies involved in the production and use of fossil fuels “without an ordinary business purpose.”
BlackRock, which manages $8.5 trillion in assets, has made public stands regarding climate change and various social matters. The firm has taken “voting action on climate issues” against dozens of its portfolio companies, according to an investment stewardship report.