In the letter posted on his website, Mr. Patronis reiterates the reasons he terminated BlackRock from the management of $2 billion in the state's long-duration portfolio and its short-term investment fund, saying "it's hard for me to imagine a scenario where the SBA can continue its partnership with BlackRock. There are other firms in this space and BlackRock is not entitled to our pension funds."
In a Dec. 1 news release, Mr. Patronis announced the termination of BlackRock due to what he terms as CEO Laurence D. Fink's "campaign to change the world" in utilizing environmental, social and governance standards.
BlackRock is the sole manager of the $600 million short-term investment fund and manages $1.4 billion as one of 12 managers in the state's Treasury division long-duration portfolio.
In the letter to Mr. Taylor, Mr. Patronis writes that "Florida is fortunate to have a Governor (Ron DeSantis) and legislative leaders who have expressed an interest in ridding Florida of ESG. I join their calls, as well as the calls of many other Treasurers throughout the nation in voicing our concerns for what's happening within the financial services sector."
Mr. Patronis has not said whether other managers who have publicly expressed support for ESG investing will also be terminated, and Devin Galetta, his spokesman, has not replied to requests for further information.
Among the 11 other external managers in the long-duration portfolio, 10 managers are listed as signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing on the U.N.'s website. The first of those principles is: "We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes."
The managers all signed the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing between 2006 and 2021. Two managers, Amundi and Insight Investment, are also signatories on the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, a group that has committed to support the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius and to support investing aligned with achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.
The other 10 managers and the amount they managed in the long-duration portfolio as of March 31, according to its most recent available investment report, are Galliard Capital Management, $1.6 billion; Sterling Capital Management, $1.6 billion; Fidelity Investments, $1.4 billion; Manulife Investment Management, $1.2 billion; Amundi, $1.2 billion; PGIM Fixed Income, $1.1 billion; Western Asset Management Co., $901 million; Goldman Sachs Asset Management, $824 million; Nuveen, $430 million; and Insight Investment, $231 million.