Washington, D.C.— U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) and U.S. Congressman Rick Allen (R-GA) introduced the Ensuring Sound Guidance (ESG) Act to protect retail investors’ retirement and investment accounts from asset managers who put environmental and social goals ahead of returns. This legislation would require investment advisors and ERISA retirement plan sponsors to prioritize financial returns over non pecuniary factors when making investment decisions on behalf of their clients.
The ESG Act is intended to protect investors from their returns being diminished because of politically motivated asset managers who prioritize environmental or social goals instead of returns.
“Asset managers should be in the business of maximizing returns for investors, not pushing their own political agenda at the expense of every day Americans. Our bill protects average Americans saving and building wealth through retirement plans. It also preserves access to capital for energy producers to ensure costs won’t skyrocket further for Americans at the pump during a time when gas prices are at a historic high,” said Congressman Barr, who serves as a senior member on the House Financial Services Committee.
“Americans trust their financial advisors to invest their hard-earned money in a way that maximizes returns, but more and more of the ‘woke’ left are forcing their climate agenda on middle-class families by pushing clients to invest in green funds or other politically charged goals. At a time when prices for everything continue to surge, the Ensuring Sound Guidance Act will make sure advisors prioritize maximizing returns and empower plan participants to choose how they invest their capital,” said Congressman Allen, who serves as the Lead Republican on the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on the House Education and Labor Committee.
Both the House Education and Labor Committee as well as the House Financial Services Committee have jurisdiction over this legislation. Under the ESG Act, investors are still allowed to allocate their capital in ways that may not prioritize returns if they choose to do so.