Harold Hutchison on July 6, 2022
An asset-management firm that seeks to counter the influence of “woke” capital launched an ad campaign centered on energy production Tuesday.
“Strive is now embarking on a national education campaign to restore U.S. energy security by reviving the voices of everyday citizens and investors in our economy, starting with the U.S. energy sector,” Vivek Ramaswamy, co-founder of Strive Asset Management, said in a release.
“Americans, through their investment accounts, are investing in asset managers like BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard, whose shareholder voting and engagement behaviors have effectively caused U.S. energy companies to produce less oil and natural gas in the U.S.,” Strive said in the release.
Ramaswamy, a former biotech executive, and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel launched Strive Asset Management in May to counter what they called an “ideological cartel” on Wall Street.
The company released an advertisement teasing an upcoming speech by Ramaswamy at the EnerCom Denver conference, which will take place Aug. 7-10. Ramaswamy will unveil proposed shareholder resolutions and seek to address “damage inflicted on this sector by large asset managers.”
“The same large asset managers who pressure U.S. companies to adopt climate change strategies by reducing oil and gas production stay notably silent as their Chinese portfolio companies behave in the opposite manner,” Ramaswamy said. “American citizens are left holding the bag twice, both as investors and as consumers at the pump.”
BlackRock reportedly uses its voting power to push companies to adopt Environmental, Social, and (Corporate) Governance (ESG) standards, including in a 2021 proxy fight waged during the election of directors to ExxonMobil’s board, according to a February 2022 op-ed by Ramaswamy. Vanguard and State Street also reportedly apply ESG standards.
“BlackRock, Exxon’s second-largest shareholder, voted for three of Engine No. 1’s climate-focused board candidates,” Ramaswamy wrote, saying that after the proxy fight, Exxon reduced its long-term oil and gas production goals.
Other investors are joining the anti-ESG backlash. The Boardroom Initiative, a project of the Free Enterprise Project, 2nd Vote and the Legal Action Fund of the Job Creators Network co-founded by former Best Buy and McDonald’s executives, launched in April to deliver “value to shareholders instead of virtue-signaling to left-wing activists.”
Strive Asset Management, BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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