The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan, has issued subpoenas to BlackRock and State Street Global Advisors for documents and communications pertaining to the panel's investigation into environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals and antitrust laws.
According to the panel, the requests for documents were made on July 6, 2023. While both companies have provided some documents, the overall response has been deemed "inadequate."
These recent subpoenas follow similar ones issued earlier in the week to Vanguard Group and Arjuna Capital. The earlier subpoenas were related to the committee's probe into potential illicit collusion aimed at depriving fossil-fuel companies of funding.
Rep. Jordan initiated the investigation into Vanguard, BlackRock, State Street, and other asset managers due to concerns that their involvement in the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative (NZAM) may have violated U.S. competition law.
NZAM is an international coalition of asset managers committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 or earlier, while also limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (equivalent to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
In response to the subpoenas, a spokesperson from BlackRock stated, "We have been working cooperatively with the House Judiciary Committee in addressing their inquiries concerning the asset management industry, as we do with any government institution. Although we have already submitted over 7,700 documents and 91,000 pages, we understand that a subpoena is part of the committee's process, and we will continue to cooperate."
State Street commented that they have fully cooperated with the committee and will continue to do so in the future. They maintain confidence in their compliance with antitrust laws.
The investigation by the House Judiciary Committee aims to shed light on the activities of these major asset management firms and their potential impact on ESG goals and competition within the industry.