Commentary

IPFI Statement on the proposed Department of Labor rule on ESG investing

The Department of Labor last week released a proposed rule on tax-qualified retirement plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in order to determine the extent to which Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations factor into investment decisions. The question at hand is whether the plan managers, bound by fiduciary duty to their beneficiaries, […]

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Commentary: Proxy Firms’ Social-Ills Advice Wrongheaded

This article originally appeared in the Chief-Leader on June 22, 2020. In this time of economic turmoil, firefighters deserve stable pensions, not political gamesmanship. The COVID-19 crisis has put an incredible strain on public pension funds. State and city governments will be under enormous budget pressure as leaders scramble and struggle to recover from the […]

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Commentary: As Shareholders Come Together to Vote, Investors Must Work to Keep Politics Out of Public Pensions

This article originally appeared in Morning Consult on June 9, 2020. With the proxy voting season in motion, corporations and shareholders are preparing to debate numerous potential changes to how thousands of businesses operate. This year, a single issue will be at the forefront of everyone’s minds: the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has upended the […]

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Commentary: BlackRock’s new ESG priority is probably about collecting more fees

This article originally appeared in ValueWalk on May 28, 2020. BlackRock has been moving to redefine its identity from a firm focused on index investing to a firm that emphasizes ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) investing. However, one organization argues that this move is less about doing something good for investors and more about enabling BlackRock […]

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Commentary: BlackRock’s ESG Strategy Plays Politics with Public Pensions

This article originally appeared in Barron’s on May 28, 2020. In a relatively short time, BlackRock has become the largest asset manager in the world. The firm built its impressive franchise as a low-fee, efficient provider of index portfolios. Now, however, Larry Fink, the mortgage-bond trader who founded the firm in 1988 and has been CEO ever […]

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Open Letter: Congress should reconsider banks’ government guarantees if the banks abuse their fiduciary duty

Recently, a group of 19 U.S. Senators sent a letter to the Small Business Administration, Treasury Department, and Federal Reserve raising concerns that several major financial institutions may be inclined to withhold support for certain industries through the Paycheck Protection Program and other COVID-19 relief efforts. The industries in question – the energy sector, federal […]

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Commentary: The SEC’s New Rules For Proxy Advisory Firms Are A Key Step Toward Accountability

This article originally appeared in Forbes on April 30, 2020. In a recent Op-Ed in Barron’s , four current state treasurers argue that the SEC’s proposed rules for proxy advisory firms are a harmful overstep by the agency tasked with protecting investors and promoting the creation of wealth in this country. As the former State Treasurer of Connecticut, I […]

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In Case You Missed It: IPFI Has Been Busy Fighting For Public Pensions

See below for a round-up of the latest material from IPFI: SEC Rulemaking and What It Means for Proxy Advisory Firms “The SEC recently announced proposed rules aimed at addressing the outsized influence of proxy advisory firms, restoring much-needed protections to the proxy voting process and those who bear the financial consequences of the decisions […]

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