This week, Florida CFO Patronis instructed “all participating asset managers to remove ESG investment funds as an option for participants in deferred compensation plans.” In effect, Patronis is now barred from investing in his ESG funds by a $5.1 billion Florida deferred compensation plan.
Overall, this is not a surprising development. Florida is at the forefront of efforts to move the state’s pension funds and other sources of capital away from her ESG-compliant investments and toward more “traditional” investment goals. This latest effort is just the latest salvo in the ongoing campaign.
That said, it is important that these efforts continue. Florida (and other states) seem intent on engaging additional tactics and tricks to keep pressure on investors and asset managers (and to score political points). . The importance of this issue, and the difficulty placed on investors moving between his competing ESG-pro- and anti-ESG legal regimes, is unlikely to go away anytime soon.