Nineteen state attorneys general wrote a letter last month to BlackRock CEO Laurence D. Fink. They warned that BlackRock’s environmental, social and governance investment policies appear to involve “rampant violations” of the sole interest rule, a well-established legal principle. The sole interest rule requires investment fiduciaries to act to maximize financial returns, not to promote social or political objectives. Last week Attorneys General Jeff Landry and Todd Rokita of Louisiana and Indiana, respectively, went further. Each issued a letter warning his state pension board that ESG investing is likely a violation of fiduciary duty.
The Louisiana and Indiana opinions didn’t make headlines but have seismic implications: They suggest that state pension-fund board members, investment staff and investment advisers may be liable if they continue allocating funds to ESG-promoting asset managers such as BlackRock.
Read more on WSJ.com.