More institutional investors are calling on companies to reconsider political spending in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack on Congress.
On Thursday, a group of 81 institutional investors with a collective $1.7 trillion endorsed a statement sent to CEO members of the Business Roundtable calling on them to pause political giving for at least six months and to delve deeper into its financial impacts.
Investor members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility backing the statement also urged companies to consider taking permanent steps to end political spending, directly or through trade associations. The group cited several political risks, including the reputational risk of supporting the 147 members of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election.
Reputational risk from controversial lobbying and political spending has been a rising concern for investors, said Tim Smith of ICCR member Boston Trust Walden.
"Many corporations are urgently evaluating appropriate options for their companies related to political spending, a welcome and important step; this is a timely moment for an in-depth board review of these practices," he said in an ICCR statement.
ICCR CEO Josh Zinner said in the statement that "it is vitally important for companies to carefully evaluate the problematic impacts of their political spending." ICCR members pledge to raise the subject in their ongoing engagements with portfolio companies.