Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley is now defending his position to remove the world’s second-largest asset manager from a climate alliance with asset managers, claiming his company is “not in the game of politics” and his “voice was being drowned out.” Toward the end of 2022, Vanguard quit the Net Zero Asset Managers (NZAM), a coalition of 301 asset managers committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, citing the company’s desire to preserve its independence and provide clarity to investors. At the time, it was the most significant defection to date.
Then, this week, in Buckley’s first remarks since leaving the alliance, he told the Financial Times, “We felt that our voice was being drowned out or confused.” He added that Vanguard’s way of managing climate change risks “has not changed.” “We don’t believe that we should dictate company strategy... It would be hubris to presume that we know the right strategy for the thousands of companies that Vanguard invests with,” he told the Times. But, while noting during the interview that Vanguard is “not in the game of politics,” the CEO added, “We just want to make sure that risks are being appropriately disclosed and that every company is playing by the rules.” When asked about the increasing politicization of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) based investing, he admitted that “politicians and regulators have a central role to play in setting the ground rules to achieve a just transition to a lower carbon economy.” But, interestingly enough, the asset manager offers environmental, social, and governance (ESG) index funds that exclude certain companies to “allow investors to express their values and preferences,” but to invest in these funds, Buckley admitted that it “has to be an individual investor’s choice.” As Breitbart News has noted in the past, ESG policies are a form of leftist activism in financial investing that has become the latest vector to influence the way Wall Street financial firms and corporations continue to take social and political positions that do not relate to their business, such as stances associated with climate change, as well as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) agenda. Wall Street firms, such as BlackRock and others, sell ESG as a way to invest according to specific criteria that the political left pushes on voters and consumers. Republican politicians have especially taken aim at ESG policies over the last year. Additionally, Breitbart News reported on Tuesday that the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), a similar net-zero group for banking lenders, might fall apart after facing some “mutiny” from some of the more climate-conscious lenders after the group decided against imposing binding restrictions on fossil-fuel financing. One of the lenders, Germany’s GLS Bank, has already left the group in protest, while many others are looking to walk away when reviewing their membership in the alliance if stricter restrictions are not implemented. Due to the freedom granted by the NZBA leadership, “a significant proportion of NZBA members continue to lack an appropriate approach to their own climate and environmental impact,” a spokesperson for GLS said earlier this month, as quoted by Bloomberg. Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.
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