Missouri has pulled all state pension investments managed by BlackRock, worth about $500 million, over the company’s “woke” agenda.
“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, on publicly traded companies,” GOP State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick said Tuesday.
In June, the state pension board expressed concerns over BlackRock’s “public statements and record of prioritizing [environmental, social and governance] initiatives over shareholder return,” the treasurer’s office said.
Missouri’s announcement comes days after BlackRock had its stock downgraded by a top Wall Street analyst over concerns about potential lost earnings due to the company’s adherence to social justice principles.
“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,” Fitzpatrick said.
Several other Republican-led states such as Louisiana and South Carolina have also cut ties with BlackRock over its liberal agenda.
Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink defended his company last week. “I’m now being attacked equally by the left and the right, so I’m doing something right,” he said, according to Fortune.