BlackRock and UBS Group are among a group of financiers seeking to be removed from a list of companies that Texas state Comptroller Glenn Hegar deemed to be “boycotting” the fossil fuel industry, according to media reports.
A November 28 Bloomberg UK report stated that representatives from at least five companies had asked Hegar to remove them from the divestment list he published in August, citing documents which it obtained through a public records request.
Hegar’s office revealed the list of 10 companies marked for divestment in late August, condemning the companies to risk losing access to business with certain state governments and organizations. The list also contained more than 300 individual funds.
Both BlackRock and UBS Group executives have met with representatives of Hegar’s office to discuss the fund managers’ inclusion on the list, with UBS Global Wealth Management Co-President Tom Naratil arguing that “it is both our policy and practice to do business with energy companies, including those in the fossil fuel industry.”
According to the newswire, UBS Group’s arm that underwrites U.S. municipal bond sales hasn’t handled any offerings in Texas’ market for state and local-government debt since Hegar announced the list, and was removed from a $3.4 billion transaction due in 2023.
BlackRock has vehemently denied boycotting the energy industry.
Hegar is due to update the list in the coming quarter, at the earliest.