More than 300 pages of City financial records obtained by The Dallas Express show that the City of Dallas’ defined contribution programs for employees purportedly do not have investments in or management relationships with BlackRock.

The City employee 401(k) and 457(B) programs appeared to be void of assets in the multi-national asset manager. Moreover, neither program was managed by BlackRock but instead managed by Fidelity, with a combined total value of around $450 million.

This finding was in contrast to the City pension, which, as DX previously reported, had some relationship with BlackRock.

After a prolonged records dispute with the City resulted in a former public employee’s Social Security number and financial records being leaked, DX found that the pension invested some money in an entity abbreviated as “BLACKROCK INC COM STK.” However, the files from 2023, the last year for which records were available, did not clearly indicate the degree of the pension’s investment in BlackRock.

Many state entities have chosen to divest from BlackRock over concerns about the company discriminating against the Texas energy industry. The Texas Permanent School Fund similarly broke with BlackRock earlier this year.

“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,” State Board of Education Chairman Aaron Kinsey said in a March statement announcing the sovereign wealth fund’s divestiture.

Kinsey added his belief that firing BlackRock was 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.”

SB 13 was passed in 2021 in response to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment programs embraced by companies like BlackRock. ESG is a type of political activist investing that tries to achieve left-wing social change while generating profit.

The company previously telegraphed a pivot away from fossil fuels and toward alternative energy sources as part of its Climate Action 100+ agenda. However, as DX reported, it has since scaled back this program.

Further, BlackRock vehemently denies discriminating against Texas companies. BlackRock executive Mark McCombe previously told the Financial Times, “We have never turned our back on Texas oil and gas companies.”

While SB 13 applies to some entities that service municipalities, it does not apply to Texas cities themselves. Therefore, Dallas’ investments are not unlawful. However, state law and subsequent findings by Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar that BlackRock was allegedly unlawfully discriminating against Texas oil and gas producers raises questions about the prudence of Texas municipalities having any relationship with the company.

Dallas is home to numerous oil and gas companies. Major companies like Exxon have historically held their shareholder meetings in the City.