Federated Hermes says sponsorship of ‘anti-ESG’ group is not endorsement

SFOF has been accused of opposing climate policy and progress on companies disclosing ESG factors

Federated Hermes has released a statement amid ongoing media attention of its sponsorship of an ‘anti-ESG’ political group, saying its involvement should not be taken as endorsement.

The asset manager, along with Fidelity Investments, Wells Fargo, Invesco and others, are sponsors of State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF), non-profit political advocacy organization made up of state treasurers, financial officials, and Republican political operatives, that has been accused of opposing climate policy and progress on companies disclosing ESG factors.

A recent Documented investigation found SFOF is currently pushing state treasurers to oppose federal climate policies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission’s rules on ESG disclosure, and has ties to the fossil fuel industry.

“We work with a range of clients who hold different views on ESG. Some embrace ESG integration and others do not,” said Federated Hermes’ statement, which was signed by Leon Kamhi, head of responsibility and EOS (pictured); Saker Nusseibeh, CEO, Federated Hermes Limited; and J. Christopher Donahue, CEO, Federated Hermes, Inc.

The statement emphasised engagement as an effective process, and pointed to participation in “hundreds of events around the world” with a variety of organisations.

“In each forum in which our clients participate, we are there to listen, learn and exchange ideas about how to responsibly create and optimize wealth for their companies, governments, clients and employees. Listening to different points of view is critical to the engagement process. Diversity of thought and respect for the views of others, no matter how they differ from our own, is critical to long-term consensus building and the betterment of our world,” it said.

“Our participation does not serve as an endorsement of any organisation’s particular perspective on any issue.”

More to follow.


Natasha Turner

Natasha is global editor at ESG Clarity, part of the Bonhill Group, and has been a financial journalist for seven years. She has been shortlisted for Story of the Year and Investment Journalist of the...