(Bloomberg) -- Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is urging the agency that manages the state pension funds to remove BlackRock Inc. as one of its asset managers, in yet another strike against the firm over its environmental, social and governance investing practices.
In a letter dated Wednesday to Lamar Taylor, interim executive director and chief investment officer of the State Board of Administration, Patronis explained his decision last week to divest $2 billion of state assets from BlackRock. He urged the board, which oversees more than $217 billion of the state’s investments including pensions, to reconsider having the world’s largest asset manager invest Florida dollars.
“It’s hard for me to imagine a scenario where the SBA can continue its partnership with BlackRock,” Patronis wrote. “There are other firms in this space and BlackRock is not entitled to our pension funds.”
A BlackRock spokesperson did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
The SBA is the primary investment management arm for Florida, overseeing more than a dozen funds including the Florida Retirement System Pension Plan and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.
Patronis’ move is the latest in Republicans’ fight against Wall Street’s sustainable investing practices. Texas officials have listed BlackRock among other companies that “boycott” the energy industry, and a committee of Lone Star State lawmakers issued a subpoena to the money manager to produce documents ahead of an upcoming hearing on the firm’s ESG stances.
Related: BlackRock Subpoenaed by Texas Senate Panel Over ESG Issues
“BlackRock is a major proponent of Environmental, Social, and Governance standards – known as ESG ratings – for capital decisions. These standards are undemocratic and loaded with ideology that has led to certain bone-headed decisions,” Patronis wrote in the letter.
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