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Sean D. Reyes
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AG Reyes Writes Blackrock Fund Directors About ESG Concerns

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined a letter to BlackRock fund directors to express continued concerns over past and present actions involving their fiduciary duties to clients and commitments to radical environmental organizations. The letter, which was led by the State of Montana, requested answers to a series of questions in the wake of BlackRock’s recent announcement that it would substantially scale back involvement in Climate Action 100+.

The February 2024 letter follows one sent by the coalition of attorneys general in July 2023 that questioned whether BlackRock should continue to serve as an investment adviser to the mutual funds it manages, highlighted potential conflicts of interest, and raised concerns about the company’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investments. BlackRock responded to the July letter in August 2023.

“Thanks to persistent efforts from Republican attorneys general to defeat the radical and illegal ESG movement, BlackRock and other investment firms have rightly withdrawn from certain environmental organizations committed to a foundational transformation of America’s energy and financial sectors,” said General Reyes. “Our coalition, however, still has concerns with BlackRock’s past and present actions involving the financial interests of our constituents. We will remain steadfast in holding BlackRock and others like it accountable by protecting the financial freedom of our people.”

As the attorneys general point out in their recent letter, while BlackRock “announced that it was dropping its corporate membership in Climate Action 100+, [it] remains a member of other groups such as the Net Zero Asset Managers initiatives, the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, and Ceres.” The States write that “BlackRock has made commitments to environmental activist groups that may conflict with the fiduciary duties it owes to clients, and we seek more information about how the independent directors have overseen this.”

The attorneys general seek responses to their queries by March 26, 2024.

Joining Utah and Montana on the letter are the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Read the letter here.