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Tipsheet

North Carolina's State Treasurer Calls on BlackRock CEO to Resign

Amid a rough week for the woke ESG crowd, North Carolina's state Treasurer Dale Folwell is adding to the pressure building against BlackRock for its leftist investing priorities by officially calling for its CEO — Larry Fink — to resign. 

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Treasurer Folwell pointed to "a loss of confidence in Fink’s leadership due to his focus on Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) initiatives" as the leader of "the world’s largest asset manager with approximately $9.5 trillion under management" that "has been at the forefront of using its market power to coerce the world’s companies to transition to carbon 'net-zero' by 2050." That strong-arming of companies to bend to the will of the woke, Folwell noted, has been the result of Fink who "has personally guided the firm in this strategy, working with various organizations such as Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, and Climate Action 100+."

"As keeper of the public purse my duty is to manage our investments to ensure that the best interests of those that teach, protect and serve, as well as of our retirees, are always paramount," Folwell noted. "The North Carolina Retirement Systems (NCRS) have approximately $14 billion invested through BlackRock in various active but mostly passive funds at the lowest possible investment fees, in addition to around $55 million passively invested in BlackRock stocks or bonds," he explained of the funds he oversees. 

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It's worth noting as well that Folwell recently signed an agreement that enables NCRS to vote its shares managed by BlackRock, meaning Fink's company is not able to wield the power that would otherwise come with its North Carolina Retirement System assets. 

"Unfortunately, Mr. Fink’s political agenda has gotten in the way of his same fiduciary duty," Folwell continued. "A focus on ESG is not a focus on returns, and potentially could force us to violate our own fiduciary duty of loyalty," he warned. 

"Ultimately, Mr. Fink’s continued ideological pressure could result in using ESG scores against states and local governments, lowering their credit ratings and thus driving up their cost of borrowing at taxpayers’ expense. This not only concerns me as the state treasurer and ‘keeper of the public purse,’ but as Chair of the N.C. State Banking Commission and the Local Government Commission," Folwell added.  

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"There is no blue money or red money at the treasurer’s office, only green," Folwell also noted in his call for Fink to be replaced as head of BlackRock. "As the fiduciary for the North Carolina Retirement Systems, we seek not to be political, but mathematical. BlackRock needs to be totally focused on returns for their clients, not on the political effort to ‘transform’ the economy to their vision of carbon zero," he said. "Fossil fuels will be the engine that drives the world’s economy for the foreseeable future. The only way that I can see BlackRock refocusing on their fiduciary duty to their clients is for a change at the top."

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