(Bloomberg) -- BlackRock Inc. criticized Texas’s decision to divest $8.5 billion from the asset manager’s funds, calling the move “reckless” and detrimental to the finances of the state’s schools and families.

“Your actions put short-term politics over your long-term fiduciary responsibilities,” Mark McCombe, a BlackRock vice chairman, said in a letter Thursday to Aaron Kinsey, chair of the Texas State Board of Education. “We were dismayed.”

McCombe urged Kinsey and the board to reconsider, arguing that BlackRock has worked with the Texas Permanent School Fund for almost two decades and has produced strong investment performance with competitive fees. The firm’s international investing mandate beat the fund’s own benchmark during that span, generating more than $250 million for Texas, according to the letter.

Read more: Why Texas Is Banning Banks Over Their ESG Policies: QuickTake

“Ending a long, successful partnership that has been a positive force for thousands of Texas schools and families in such a reckless manner is irresponsible,” McCombe wrote. “How our clients invest and whom they entrust to manage their money is entirely their decision, but we feel an action of this magnitude warrants transparency and consensus — not political-driven decision-making.”

The Texas divestment is one of the biggest actions taken against BlackRock in the three-year anti-ESG campaign run by Republicans across the US. One of the few comparable moves was in late 2022, when Florida said it would pull $2 billion from the New York-based company.

Earlier this week, Kinsey said the fund’s leadership ended its relationship with BlackRock to comply with a 2021 Texas law that restricts investments with companies that engage in so-called boycotts of the fossil-fuel industry. BlackRock is on a list of firms that state Comptroller Glenn Hegar considers to engage in such a boycott.

Read More: BlackRock Condemns Texas Fund’s Divestment of $8.5 Billion

BlackRock has long disputed this, and McCombe said the $10 trillion money manager holds more than $320 billion of global energy investments, including about $120 billion in Texas-based, publicly traded energy companies.

--With assistance from Amanda Albright.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.