TOPEKA – (Jan. 17, 2023) – Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach today joined a 21-state coalition that is challenging the ESG practices of two proxy advisory companies, International Shareholder Services, Inc. (“ISS”) and Glass, Lewis & Co.
Kobach and the other attorneys general specifically take issue with how ESG considerations affect ISS and Glass Lewis’s proxy voting recommendations that conflict with the financial interests of their clients.
“These proxy advisory companies and their ESG driven agenda threaten the hard-earned pensions of generations of Kansas workers,” Kobach said. “Those pension funds must be invested to maximize their return, not to advance any particular political agenda.”
Both ISS and Glass Lewis support the priorities established by an international group of financial institutions committed to aligning their lending and investment portfolios with net-zero emissions by 2050. By letting net-zero inform their proxy advice, ISS and Glass Lewis are abandoning their fiduciary duties to their clients, including Kansans, and adopting the radical environmental agenda that experts predict are not possible.
Additionally, ISS and Glass Lewis have also pledged to recommend votes against certain directors on boards that they view as having insufficient racial, ethnic or sex-based diversity under arbitrary quotas they established.
The letter states, “your actions may threaten the economic value of our States’ and citizens’ investments and pensions—interests that may not be subordinated to your social and environmental beliefs, or those of your other clients.”
Kobach and his colleagues seek information and assurances from ISS and Glass Lewis that they will uphold their legal obligations in performing proxy advisory services.
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