BlackRock Allegedly Outright Lies to TX Officials

BlackRock logo | Photo by Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images

High-profile consumer protection advocates are alleging that BlackRock lied to the public.

These new allegations are anchored in recordings of previous meetings between the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) and BlackRock. Will Hild, executive director of Consumers’ Research, stated the following on X: “We’ve found proof that @BlackRock lied in their letter to the Texas Permanent School Fund, following the fund’s divestment of $8.5 billion… You’ll want to see this.”

“Thought it was *highly unlikely* that @BlackRock wasn’t given any notice that they were at risk of being fired, as they’ve claimed,” Hild added. “So, I watched 6 hours of footage of the fund’s last two public board meetings. And, I know this won’t shock anyone, but BlackRock lied…” Hild continued.

According to BlackRock Vice Chair Mark McCombe, the multinational corporation was taken by surprise and without notification when Aaron Kinsey (R-Midland), chair of SBOE, announced the Texas Public School Fund would fire BlackRock as its investment manager, terminating BlackRock’s financial management of $8.5 billion in Texas’ assets.

“The Texas Permanent School Fund (PSF) has a fiduciary duty to protect Texas schools by safeguarding and growing the approximately $1 billion in annual oil and gas royalties managed by the Texas General Land Office,” Kinsey noted in a March 19, 2024 statement.

He added that his actions were mandated and in “full compliance with Texas law,” as the “relationship with BlackRock was not in compliance with Texas Government Code Section 809, commonly referred to as Senate Bill 13.”

Kinsey further stated that SB 13 “prohibits state investment in companies like BlackRock that boycott energy companies.”

Texas State Comptroller Glenn Hegar previously identified BlackRock as one of 10 firms purportedly discriminating against certain Texas energy producers. The alleged illegal discrimination arose from the corporation’s Climate Action 100+ agenda, a since scaled-back environmental, social, and governance investment strategy that Hegar perceived as prioritizing alternative energy sources over Texas’s oil and gas industry.

This was an allegation McCombe disputed, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

“We have never turned our back on Texas oil and gas companies,” McCombe said.

Hild also shared two roughly minute-long videos in his social media post. In the first, Kinsey warns BlackRock that their investment strategy violated the board’s “fiduciary duty” to Texas citizens under the law. In the second, another official in the same meeting reads a letter from Hegar “warning that TX PSF investments are out of compliance with Texas law, specifically because they have investments with @BlackRock,” the post reads.

Hild posted other clips from the exchange in which board members shared their concerns regarding BlackRock. Hild concluded this digest of evidence with an overture to more to come: “This is just part 1, next we’ll break down what happened on 4/13/23 when $BLK was invited to address the TX PSF publicly…” he concluded.

These revelations follow a series of investigations by DX that revealed numerous places where state entities still have connections to the embattled corporation. The state public employee 401(k) and 457(b) programs are deeply tied to BlackRock’s asset management arms. BlackRock constitutes around a quarter of investments with the former Texa$aver plan and a fifth with the latter.

“I encourage other state officials and agencies to follow suit, ensuring our state’s financial resources support our economic backbone and continued energy independence in Texas,” Rep. Nate Schatzline (R-Fort Worth) told DX when asked if the state-defined contribution programs should also divest from BlackRock.

Similarly, DX broke a story about similar ties between the City of Houston and BlackRock. Despite the city’s association with the oil industry, Houston’s public employee 457(b) program has invested with BlackRock for at least three years. Documents older than three years were not readily available to DX; however, the documents retrieved indicate that Houston’s relationship with the company has existed since BlackRock was identified as possibly violating SB 13.

Other state entities have made moves identical to the State Board of Education. The state public school teachers’ pension, the largest such pension in the Lonestar State, dropped more than $500 million worth of investments in BlackRock over concerns under SB 13, per The Dallas Morning News.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article