Josh Lichtenstein Comments on Ongoing ESG Controversy in Financial Times
In a Financial Times piece, partner and head of the firm’s ERISA and fiduciary benefits practice, Josh Lichtenstein, discussed state pension funds’ place in the ongoing political controversy over ESG investing. Conservatives across the country largely oppose ESG investment practices; around 50 anti-ESG bills have been proposed at the state and local level since the start of 2023. However, some banks and financial institutions are opposing legislation that would bar them from factoring social, political, and ideological interests in investment decisions.
State pension funds use a “pretty exhaustive” process when picking investment managers, Josh said, meaning funds will not choose investments that are imprudent, regardless of the political leaning or nature of a business. Financial institutions “are worried about if they have to divest from managers that they are using” in the event anti-ESG measures are turned into law.