Florida CFO

Florida CFO Patronis Seeks ‘ESG’ Scrutiny

Florida CFO

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis this week requested that state pension-investment managers assess the use of “Environmental, Social and Governance” ratings, which have drawn widespread criticism from Republicans across the country.

“We need an honest dialogue on Environmental, Social, and Governance ratings — otherwise known as ‘ESG’ — and how fund managers that work for the State Board of Administration may be too bought-in to this anti-American, anti-Israel, and anti-freedom ideology, that’s disguising itself as a sophisticated business practice,” Patronis wrote to Lamar Taylor, interim executive director, and chief investment officer at the State Board of Administration, which oversees the pension fund and other state investments.

Emilie Oglesby, a spokeswoman for the State Board of Administration, said in an email that, “as fiduciaries, the SBA and its investment managers are required to take all relevant risks into account when making investment decisions.” Oglesby added that, “Neither the SBA nor its managers use ESG factors as a way to screen or limit the available investment opportunity set.”

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The ESG process can involve considering a wide range of issues, such as companies’ climate-change vulnerabilities; carbon emissions; product safety; supply-chain labor standards; privacy and data security; and executive compensation.

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