Florida joins a growing number of states rejecting the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) movement. 

Jimmy Patronis, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, announced on December 1st that the Sunshine State will divest $2 billion dollars worth of assets invested in BlackRock. More specifically, the State Treasury instructed Florida’s custody bank to freeze “$1.43 billion in long-term securities and remove them as the manager of approximately $600 million worth of short-term overnight investments.”

This action will be finalized by early 2023, the Florida Department of Financial Services announced

Patronis said, “As Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, it’s my responsibility to get the best returns possible for taxpayers. The more effective we are in investing dollars to generate a return, the more effective we’ll be in funding priorities like schools, hospitals and roads. As major banking institutions and economists predict a recession in the coming year, and as the Fed increases interest rates to combat the inflation crisis, I need partners within the financial services industry who are as committed to the bottom line as we are – and I don’t trust BlackRock’s ability to deliver.” 

In August, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his state will remove ESG considerations for state pension investments. 

With Florida’s latest move, a total of $5.2 billion in BlackRock assets have been withdrawn. Previously, West Virginia, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Utah cumulatively withdrew $3.2 billion in assets.

Congressional Republicans have pledged to fight ESG when they retake control of the House of Representatives in January. 

In a recent Coalition Letter, our organization urged lawmakers to focus their attention on this movement: 

The truth is these losses are adding up and hitting the pocketbooks of Americans who have spent years working hard, building up savings, and planning for a reliable amount of returns in the future. Asset managers gambling with their hard-earned money is not only financially damaging, but likely an illegal betrayal of financial trust.

Florida’s move to put ESG on notice is the most pronounced financial withdrawal of assets yet. But it won’t be the last state to reject woke capital. 

To learn more about ESG, go HERE.