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Florida extracts $2 billion from BlackRock asset management firm over ideology

Tallahassee — Florida is set to extract $2 billion from the world’s largest wealth manager over ideological differences.

State chief financial officer Jimmy Patronis said Thursday that about $1.43 billion in long-term securities managed by BlackRock and about $600 million because the company uses “environmental, social and governance” standards. The state of Florida announced an immediate freeze on short-term overnight investments in . as ESG.

In a prepared statement, Patronis said it “does not trust BlackRock’s ability to deliver” and that “BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is campaigning to change the world.”

“Whether stakeholder capitalism and ESG standards are being pushed by BlackRock for ideological reasons or to develop social credit ratings, the resulting You can avoid having to deal with the confusion of ,” said Patronis.

Republican leaders in Florida and across the country are targeting environmental, social, and governance ratings that include consideration of a range of investment issues, such as a company’s vulnerability to climate change. Carbon Emissions; Racial Inequality; Product Safety; Supply Chain Labor Standards; Privacy and Data Security. and executive compensation.

Related: DeSantis plans to fight ‘awakened ideology’ of Paypal and other financial services

Patronis said the state’s Department of Financial Services oversees about $60 billion and BlackRock’s money will be moved to “another location.”

“I think it is undemocratic for a major asset manager to use its power to influence social outcomes,” Patronis said. “If Larry[Fink]or his friends on Wall Street want to change the world, run for office. Start a nonprofit. Donate to causes you care about. The State of Florida has never agreed to use our cash to fund BlackRock’s social engineering projects.”

Fink is a major proponent of ESG metrics. In a letter to business executives earlier this year, Fink said companies using the criteria “outperform their peers.”

Related: Florida’s Incoming Legislative Leader Talks Priorities, Affordability

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

As part of its October quarterly report, Fink said New York-based BlackRock is built to “meet client needs in all market environments.”

“We continue to evolve our organization, thinking holistically about our client portfolio and innovating ahead of their needs, all of which is deepening connectivity across our platform,” Fink said in a report. . “We are uniquely positioned to serve the needs of our clients with our integrated investment management, technology and advisory expertise. And to deliver better results that benefit our clients, employees and shareholders. , working tirelessly to bring together the best of BlackRock.”

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The Motley Fool, a financial advisory firm, said in October that BlackRock, which manages about $8 trillion in assets, “continues to soak up Wall Street cash and saw strong demand for its investment products in the third quarter.” was seen,” he said.

Patronis’ announcement comes a day after he attended a panel discussion on “Working to Counter Environmental, Social, and Governance Policies” at an event organized by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council in Washington, DC.

In August, Patronis, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody act as trustees for the State Board of Trustees, directing pension fund managers not to use ESG ratings when investing state money. approved the resolution.

Meanwhile, Republican Palm Coast House Speaker Paul Renner has also made fighting ESG a priority.

In a speech to the House of Representatives at its organizing meeting on Nov. 22, Renner called for changes in state investment and to move away from Wall Street companies that have adopted “fundamental environmental and diversity goals.” I asked.

Renner called ESG practices “ideological fakes” that “increase the cost of living, undermine national security, and circumvent the checks and balances of democratic processes.”

“Just last year, credit rating agencies began requiring states to provide data to measure compliance with ESG political tenets,” said Renner. “ESG scores will soon be a factor in state credit ratings, which means that a financially irresponsible state like California will score higher than Florida simply because it embraces his ESG political agenda. You may receive a credit rating.”

Jim Turner, Florida News Service

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