BlackRock, State Street face subpoenas in House ESG probe

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, sent subpoenas to BlackRock and State Street for documents related to his panel's ESG investigation

The House Judiciary Committee announced Friday that it sent subpoenas to BlackRock and State Street amid the panel’s ongoing investigation of the firms’ promotion of environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.

The committee initially sent letters to BlackRock and State Street on July 6 requesting company documents on the subject. The panel said the companies’ compliance has been "inadequate," which prompted it to issue the subpoenas.

The Republican-led Judiciary Committee is investigating how companies like BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, and State Street advocate for ESG investing and whether that violates antitrust laws.

ESG investing, sometimes referred to as sustainable investing or impact investing, can be centered on goals like achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Republicans on the committee are concerned that such goals could keep asset managers from investing in the best fiduciary interests of their clients while hurting the U.S. economy.

BLACKROCK’S LARRY FINK ON WHY HE WON’T BE MENTIONING ESG ANYMORE: ‘IT’S BEEN WEAPONIZED BY LEFT AND RIGHT’

Jim Jordan Hearing

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan sent subpoenas to BlackRock and State Street for documents related to his panel's ESG investigation. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

"As a fiduciary, our only agenda is to act independently in helping our clients achieve their financial goals," a BlackRock spokesperson told FOX Business. "This is why BlackRock is trusted to manage more assets than any other asset manager in the world.

"We have worked cooperatively with the House Judiciary Committee to address their questions about the asset management industry, as we do with any other government body," the company added. "Having already produced more than 7,700 documents and 91,000 pages, a subpoena was not necessary but we understand this is the committee’s practice, and we will continue to cooperate."

WHAT IS ESG? INVESTING WITH ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE IN MIND

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink

Larry Fink, chairman and chief executive officer of BlackRock, has said controversies around ESG investing have prompted him to stop using the phrase. (Hollie Adams/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink has said he’s moved away from talking about ESG investing because it has "been weaponized by left and right" and added in an appearance this summer on FOX Business’ "The Claman Countdown" that the company balances investments in "traditional" energy sources as well as renewable energy.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BLK BLACKROCK INC. 805.19 -7.03 -0.87%
STT STATE STREET CORP. 77.15 -0.86 -1.10%

"We have cooperated fully with the committee and will continue to do so going forward," State Street told FOX Business. "We remain confident that we have not violated any anti-trust laws."

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House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, previously sent a subpoena to asset manager Vanguard amid its investigation.

Vanguard has said the company is "committed to working constructively with lawmakers and has cooperated with the Committee’s requests, including producing tens of thousands of relevant documents to date."

Reuters contributed to this report.

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