The retirement system invests its money based on "the sole and exclusive benefit of our members," and it does that by looking at financial factors and economic principles, Mr. Green said, according to an archived video of the hearing. INPRS has never made any of its investment decisions based environmental, social and governance principles, he said.
Last year, INPRS updated its investment policy statement with the help of outside fiduciary counsel, Mr. Green said. During those meetings, it became aware of "other collateral issues out there like proxy voting" and that while INPRS might be investing its money based on economic and financial principles, others "might have different agendas," he said.
While INPRS has always monitored and managed proxy votes, it has tended to look at them through the lens of "is somebody voting along with management or not," Mr. Green said in his testimony.
"That's been the kind of oversimplified way of ensuring that you're managing and monitoring those proxy votes," he said.
Among the issues INPRS is finding, however, is that if companies are making decisions based on ESG, "it's not as easy as just following voting with … management if management is making decisions that might not be based purely on the dollar motive but ulterior, other motives," Mr. Green said.
Despite Mr. Green's testimony, Strive Enterprises has remained tight-lipped regarding INPRS.
"As a general matter, Strive does not comment on the identity of existing or prospective investors and clients, but Strive is continuing its pace of growth and we are onboarding new institutional investors, pension funds and individual investors," Strive Enterprises said in March 10 statement provided by a spokeswoman.
However, in a recent interview with Pensions & Investments, Justin Danhof, head of corporate governance at Strive Asset Management, indicated that a state pension fund was close to finalizing a contract for proxy-voting services offered by Strive Advisory.
Strive Enterprises is the parent company of both Strive Asset Management and Strive Advisory, the spokeswoman said. Strive Asset Management offers eight exchange-traded funds, which as of Jan. 31 had assets under management totaling $650 million, she said.
Strive Asset Management's mission is "restoring the voices of everyday citizens in the American economy by leading companies to focus on excellence over politics," according to a May 2022 news release announcing the firm's launch.
A February statement from Strive regarding Mr. Ramaswamy's presidential run said he had stepped down as Strive's executive chairman "and yielded his operational responsibilities at the company."
INPRS had a total of $46.3 billion in assets as of Jan. 31, including $39.5 billion in defined benefit assets.