ESG Practices Conflicting with Law, Jeff Landry Issues Guidance to State Retirement Systems

BATON ROUGE, LA – Jeff Landry has issued legal guidance to Legislative leadership and the State retirement boards after a preliminary investigation showed that investment firms BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street may have violated its fiduciary duty of loyalty owed to their investor-clients in Louisiana. This guidance comes just weeks after Landry, along with 17 other state attorneys general, launched an investigation into Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) ratings company Morningstar.

“Policy is made in our Legislative Branch, not woke corporate boardrooms,” said Landry. “The Big Three have a responsibility to invest with their client’s best interests in mind rather than their own agenda on climate change, politics, and other self-interests.”

Landry argues that investment firms that operate as investment advisors in Louisiana and utilize ESG factors without full disclosure to their investor-clients are likely in violation of their fiduciary duties imposed by Louisiana law. In Louisiana, those investor-clients include entities such as the Louisiana Treasury and Louisiana State Retirement Boards – including the Louisiana State Employees Retirement System.

Landry’s legal guidance states that The Big Three (BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street) have “violated their fiduciary duty by, among other things, pledging together as part of Climate Action 100+, and, thus, have placed their interest in the ESG agenda above the interest of their investor-clients.” A further example of the violation of their fiduciary duty is provided in the fact that BlackRock is imposing the ESG agenda on Exxon but not on PetroChina.

“Whether it is big banks infringing on our Second Amendment rights or corporate elites attacking our energy production, these encroachments could greatly impact our way of life in Louisiana,” concluded Landry. “So I will continue fighting to ensure entities doing business with our State and her people follow the law and prioritize Louisiana’s best interests.”

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