State Pulls Money from BlackRock Over ‘ESG’

State Pulls Money from BlackRock Over ‘ESG’

By Jim Turner, The News Service of Florida

TALLAHASSEE — Florida will pull $2 billion from the largest asset-management firm in the world over ideological differences.

State Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced Thursday that Florida will immediately freeze about $1.43 billion in long-term securities and about $600 million in short-term overnight investments managed by BlackRock because of the firm’s use of “Environmental, Social, and Governance” standards — known as ESG.

Patronis in a prepared statement said he doesn’t “trust BlackRock’s ability to deliver” and “BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is on a campaign to change the world.”

“Whether stakeholder capitalism, or ESG standards, are being pushed by BlackRock for ideological reasons, or to develop social credit ratings, the effect is to avoid dealing with the messiness of democracy,” Patronis said.

Republican leaders in Florida and across the country have targeted ESG ratings, which can involve considering a wide range of issues in investments, such as companies’ climate-change vulnerabilities; carbon emissions; racial inequality; product safety; supply-chain labor standards; privacy and data security; and executive compensation.

Patronis said the state Department of Financial Services oversees about $60 billion and that the money with BlackRock will be moved “elsewhere.”

“I think it’s undemocratic of major asset managers to use their power to influence societal outcomes,” Patronis said. “If Larry (Fink), or his friends on Wall Street, want to change the world — run for office. Start a non-profit. Donate to the causes you care about. Using our cash, however, to fund BlackRock’s social-engineering project isn’t something Florida ever signed up for.”

Fink is a leading proponent of ESG metrics. In a letter this year to corporate executives, Fink said companies using the standards are “performing better than their peers.”

“Stakeholder capitalism is not about politics,” Fink wrote. “It is not a social or ideological agenda. It is not ‘woke.’ It is capitalism, driven by mutually beneficial relationships between you and the employees, customers, suppliers, and communities your company relies on to prosper.”

As part of an October quarterly report, Fink said the New York-based BlackRock is built “to meet our clients’ needs across all market environments.”

“We continue to evolve our organization, think comprehensively about our clients’ portfolios and innovate ahead of their needs, all of which is deepening connectivity across our platform,” Fink said in the report. “We are uniquely positioned to serve our clients’ needs with integrated investment management, technology and advisory expertise. And we are relentlessly committed to bringing together the best of BlackRock in order to deliver better outcomes that will benefit our clients, employees and shareholders.”

The financial-advice firm Motley Fool noted in October that BlackRock manages nearly $8 trillion in assets and “keeps soaking up Wall Street’s cash and saw strong demand for its investment offerings in the third quarter.”

Patronis’ announcement came a day after he participated in a panel discussion on the “efforts to combat Environmental, Social, and Governance policies” during an event held by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council in Washington, D.C.

In August, Patronis, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody, in their roles as trustees of the State Board of Administration, approved a resolution that directed pension-fund managers against using ESG ratings when investing state money.

Meanwhile, new House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, also has made combatting ESG a priority.

During an address to the House during a Nov. 22 organization session, Renner called for investment changes by the state to move away from Wall Street companies that have adopted “radical environmental and diversity goals.”

Renner called the ESG practice an “ideological sham” that “increases our cost of living, undermines our national security, and bypasses the checks and balances of the democratic process.”

“Just last year, credit rating agencies began requiring our state to provide data to measure our compliance with ESG’s political dogma,” Renner said. “ESG scoring will soon become a factor in our state’s credit rating, meaning fiscally irresponsible states like California could receive a better credit rating than Florida simply because they embrace ESG’s political agenda.”

10 Responses to "State Pulls Money from BlackRock Over ‘ESG’"

  1. “Stakeholder capitalism is not about politics,” Fink wrote. “It is not a social or ideological agenda. It is not ‘woke.’ It is capitalism, driven by mutually beneficial relationships between you and the employees, customers, suppliers, and communities your company relies on to prosper.”


    What and incredible amount of lying that is going on regarding ESG metrics. It’s nothing more than a strong arm tactic by far left organization to manipulate companies into following Green rules for their climate change agenda.

    Mikey & Socs, you are high as a kite if you think this isn’t all about politics.

  2. To the contrary, it’s Patronis and DeSantis who put ideology before the common sense. And not for the first time. The honest non-ideological approach would be to compare the rate of return on Florida’s $2bln investment with BlackRock and
    the remaining $58bln investments with others. Is BlackRock better, or worse, or the same in terms of return? Good luck finding the answer in Petronis’s purely ideological statement. I don’t know the specifics of Florida terms of investment but putting money with BlakRock is more profitable in most cases than with other Wall Street managers. Just think why did it grow rapidly to become the largest fund in the world? I don’t give a damn if it’s ESG or not ESG. Judging by BlackRock fortunes, ESG is apparently quite profitable. But that’s not what our Florida morons-in-power care about. They are too busy with cultural wars which they fight by sacrificing my future pension among others.

  3. A public call from a State retiree for Financial Class action lawyers to sue DeSantis and Patronis for violation of their Fiduciary Duty. ESG is NOT politics. It is RISK. . Only DeSantis would buy a coal-fired plant on a Lee county beach and build slave quarters for homeless Ian victims to work there.

  4. It will be interesting to see if BlackRock issues some sort of statement or remains quiet. Yes its just a drop in the bucket of BlackRock’s trizillions of dollars. My bet is they ignore it totally and our wokester media mostly glosses over it if covered at all.

  5. BlackRock, Apple, Google, GE, the NBA…they are all useful idiots of the Chinese Communist Party. Thank God for Jimmy Patronis and Ron DeSantis. We need to purge all the godless, gutless corporations that have forgotten what it means to be a an American.

  6. Fighting back is the only way to battle these global and climate cult lunatics. CFO Patronis and our great Governor are but a few examples of solid common-sense leadership.

    Well Done… Never Bow to the Cultists… Never Apologize to the Cultists… Never Fall Victim to the Cultists’ Extortion

  7. The Social Security Ponzi scheme is broke and some really hard decisions are on the horizon. (First they’ll kick the can down the road, again, then they’ll hide the severity by stealing money from somewhere else. There will be no “fix”.)

    Now the Biden administration is considering rules for 401(k) and IRA managers that allow them to invest client’s money according to woke priorities instead of the account holders’ best interests.

    Glad to see Patronis looking out for these retirement funds, though retirement for many is already destined to be much tighter than a lifetime of work should provide.

  8. We need more of this. Thank you CFO Patronis and Gov DeSantis for standing up for the citizens of Florida. As Gov DeSantis said ‘Florida is where woke goes to die’.

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