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In Case You Missed It: Breitbart News: Exclusive — Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis: We Want ‘Best Return on Investment,’ Not a Political Agenda

2/22/2023
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

Breitbart News: Exclusive — Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis: We Want ‘Best Return on Investment,’ Not a Political Agenda

“Exclusive — Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis: We Want ‘Best Return on Investment,’ Not a Political Agenda”

Jacob Bliss

February 21, 2023

For Full Story Click HERE.

Florida’s CFO Jimmy Patronis told Breitbart News he’s looking to give the best “return on investment” for Floridians and the Sunshine State instead of focusing on pushing a political agenda in investing such as environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies.

“My main goal is just getting the maximum return on investment for the citizens of the state of Florida,” Patronis told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on Monday when talking about divesting money away from BlackRock — the world’s largest asset manager that has also pushed ESG policies.

“I grew up in the restaurant business. I’m always thinking about promoting business. Just like I would hustle for the restaurant, I’m doing that for the state of Florida. I’m interested and eager to advocate for jobs and capital to come to the state of Florida. But also, you want them to leave the politics behind,” he added.

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.

In December, Patronis announced that Florida would start pulling $2 billion in assets away from BlackRock due to the state’s opposition to the company’s major push into ESG policies, the most significant anti-ESG divestment to date.

Then, in January, he also signed a directive that blocked asset managers from investing $5.1 billion of state pension pool from being invested in financial products associated with ESG standards.

Regarding pulling out the funds from BlackRock, he told Breitbart News that he “didn’t expect to hear that much enthusiasm,” but his phone was ringing off the hook from people telling him he was “bringing some common sense to the madness.” He added, “we’ve been boiled like a frog, and it’s just time for us to hop out of this mess.”

When asked if he agrees that BlackRock, State Street, Vanguard, and other money managers are not following their fiduciary duty and instead focusing on a political agenda when they push the leftist ESG movement, he said, “exactly.”

Then specifically targeting BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, he added, “If the Larry Finks of the world want to change the world…Go put your name on the ballot [and] go do it with your money, but you’re not going to do with the state of Florida’s money anymore.”

“I’ve got to be looking at the best return on investment, and in a rising interest rate economy, and a rising inflation environment. I’ve gotta be thinking about the business. Bottom line of the state of Florida and [BlackRock’s] philosophies, just don’t compliment, you know, somebody who’s trying to run a business and survive during challenging financial times,” Patronis added.

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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).

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