Citing fiduciary obligation, large asset managers and governmental plans representing approx. $5 trillion launch framework for engaging firearms industry as part of investment process

As reported by Bloomberg, a number of large institutional investors (especially large governmental plans) and investment managers are seeking a framework for collective engagement with the boards of issuers in the firearms industry. Engagement is one method of incorporating an ESG factor, such as gun safety, and may be preferred by some to divestment.

Signatories include: the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS); the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS); Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds; Florida State Board of Administration; Maine Public Employees Retirement System; Maryland State Retirement and Pension System; Nuveen, the asset manager of TIAA; OIP Investment Trust; Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund; Rockefeller Asset Management; San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System; State Street Global Advisors; and Wespath Investment Management.

George Michael Gerstein advises financial institutions on the fiduciary and prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA. As co-chair of the fiduciary governance group, he assists clients with tracking, and understanding, the numerous fiduciary developments at the federal and state levels, including the rules and regulations of governmental plans. He also advises clients with respect to the fiduciary duty implications of ESG investing.