Another substance-free op-ed in the Wall Street Journal fails to make clear that one of the co-authors runs an explicitly anti-ESG fund. While it acknowledges that Yale Professor Jed Rubenfeld is an advisor to Strive Asset Management, it does not make clear that the fund’s entire brand is being a contrarian on ESG, even to the extent of urging Chevron to push them to be less climate-conscious in its strategy despite large institutional investors calling on the company to transition to sustainable energy sources. A reminder that the Journal also published an anti-ESG op-ed from the founder of Strive without acknowledging his connection and had to publish a correction on the bogus study that it cited. This new op-ed should be classified as advertising.
The op-ed says in part:
If BlackRock is violating its fiduciary duty, so is a pension-plan board member or investment staffer who knowingly invests with BlackRock. It’s well-settled law, as the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has stated, that where a “fiduciary was aware of a risk to the fund . . . he may be held liable for failing to investigate” or for not “protecting the fund from that risk.”By putting pension trustees on notice that the Big Three are “likely” violating their fiduciary duties, Messrs. Landry and Rokita are warning that continued investment with those firms may subject pension board members, staffers and registered investment advisers to personal liability.ESG Can’t Square With Fiduciary Duty – WSJ