A former executive for Anheuser-Busch says that asset-management companies are pressuring companies to advocate for progressive ideas.
- Speaking in a Friday interview with Fox News’ Jesse Waters, former Anheuser-Busch Anson Frericks alleged that investment firms like BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street are using their financial clout to push a political agenda, which is itself pushed by progressive politicians with ties to these institutions.
- These companies operate trillions of dollars in state pension funds across the country, working directly with politicians to protect retirement accounts for millions of Americans.
- Frericks argues that it is not right for asset managers to pressure companies to abide by the agendas of the politicians they are working with.
Why It’s Important
As we previously reported, “woke capitalism” has become one of the most hotly debated issues going into the 2024 election cycle, with Republican politicians regularly scrutinizing the public stances of large corporations like Disney for embracing climate change or transgender politics. Companies like Anheuser-Busch and Target have seen multibillion-dollar valuation drops in the past two months as both companies face consumer backlashes against LGBTQ+-related content.
It is no secret that major investment firms have largely embraced these ideas. BlackRock, in particular, has taken a firm public stance in favor of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), which has put the investment firm at odds with conservative politicians, like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who argue that gambling retirement funds on ESG Indexes is fiscally irresponsible.
Frericks argues that the politicization of these companies goes against their bottom line to deliver the products and services they are promised and that asset managers have no place pushing ideas onto the American public.
“In California, for example, they recently have mandated those large pension funds that they divest from things like fossil fuels and oil and gas, and then when Bill de Blasio, [former] mayor of New York, was there, he did the same thing. But they also tell BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard if they’re going to manage their money, they have to commit to things like ESG [and DEI] and adopt firm-wide commitments that they, therefore, then force onto all the major companies in corporate America,” he says.