"Using our cash, however, to fund BlackRock's social-engineering project isn't something Florida ever signed up for," Mr. Patronis said in the news release. "It's got nothing to do with maximizing returns and is the opposite of what an asset manager is paid to do. Florida's Treasury Division is divesting from BlackRock because they have openly stated they've got other goals than producing returns."
BlackRock managed $1.4 billion of the state's long-duration portfolio and was the sole manager of the Treasury department's $600 million short-term investment fund, a cash-sweep vehicle the department uses to assist fixed-income managers in managing their daily cash needs, according to the news release.
BlackRock said in a statement Thursday, that as a fiduciary, everything the firm does is with the "sole goal of driving returns for our clients."
"We are surprised by the Florida CFO's decision given the strong returns BlackRock has delivered to Florida taxpayers over the last five years. Neither the CFO nor his staff have raised any performance concerns," the statement said. "We are disturbed by the emerging trend of political initiatives like this that sacrifice access to high-quality investments and thereby jeopardize returns, which will ultimately hurt Florida's citizens. Fiduciaries should always value performance over politics."