Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is leading a coalition of 19 states that sent a letter to BlackRock Inc., calling out its practices of putting what he calls “leftist politics” above investors’ interests and returns.
According to Brnovich, some states work with BlackRock for retirement plans, pension funds, and investments, but he alleges that the company “seems to be more interested in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors.”
“A fiduciary responsibility requires putting your client’s best interests ahead of any political agendas,” said Brnovich. “Helping to ensure financially secure retirements must be the first priority of this asset manager.”
BlackRock recently sent a letter to a number of states, claiming it focuses solely on its fiduciary duty and has joined climate organizations merely for “dialogue.” General Brnovich responded by pointing out inconsistencies and conflicts between BlackRock’s letter and its public statements and commitments. BlackRock’s focus isn’t “dialogue,” as the descriptions on its website include ensuring the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change and support the Paris Agreement.
Brnovich alleges that it appears that anyone purchasing a BlackRock fund is forced to support ESG whether they like it or not. Brnovich’s letter demands that BlackRock clarify its” mixed messages and come clean on whether it actually values our states’ most valuable stakeholders – our current and future retirees.”
Joining General Brnovich are the attorneys general of Nebraska, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.