WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, today asked the CEOs of the largest American banks about the current undemocratic arrangement under which mutual and index fund managers like BlackRock vote the shares of millions of American retirement savers on their behalf—often in support of unpopular, left-wing causes like the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) movement—thereby weaponizing Americans’ savings in support of an agenda with which the underlying savers would disagree.
“What these activists have figured out is that any radical policy that they can’t get enacted through government can be advanced through corporate America by hijacking the trillions of dollars in voting rights from everyday Americans’ retirement accounts. So, [a] retired school teacher in Tennessee, like my mom, without her knowledge, is having the control that she paid for in her retirement accounts being wielded to push woke policies on corporations that she and a vast majority of Americans would find quite disturbing,” Hagerty said.
“Do you believe that these activist shareholder stewards are accurately representing the views of the individual investors who actually own these shares,” Hagerty asked Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Dimon expressed his firm disapproval of investors voting shares on behalf of retirement savers. “All of those investors have a fiduciary responsibility to do their homework and vote. I personally think it is a disgrace when they rely on proxy advisors, and I think the proxy advisors are terrible, and I’m probably one of the few people who says that. I think it’s a little bit worse than what you’re saying, because we’ve gone from 7,000 public companies to 4,000 operating companies over the last 20 years or so, and that’s a problem.”