Transparency with shareholders and clients isn’t optional for a publicly traded company. Too often, leaders at megabanks, big tech firms, and other large corporations act like they can brush aside concerns from the shareholders who actually own the company. That’s wrong, and that broken way of thinking keeps C-suite leaders from hearing important perspectives that drive innovation and catalyze future success.
As the CEO of a faith-based investing firm managing over $2 billion dollars with biblically responsible investing principles, it is important to us that companies respect the core civil liberties of their stakeholders, including those like us with conservative, faith-based viewpoints. Too often, “respect for diversity” in corporate circles is just another way of saying “respect for viewpoints that do not contradict secular, leftist values.”
We have been working on a coalition with a number of like-minded investors to engage with public corporations on these issues. Of particular note, our coalition has been working with one of our allies to file a shareholder resolution at JP Morgan Chase, calling on the company to demonstrate transparency with respect to how it addresses concerns with political and anti-religious bias. Recently, fourteen state financial officers and nineteen state attorneys general have sent letters to Chase raising concerns over politicized de-banking.
As co-sponsors along with Alliance Defending Freedom, we are releasing the results of the 2023 Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index on the same day as the Chase shareholder meeting (May 16th, 2023). The Index will include 75 top companies from tech, banking, and finance – including Meta, Disney, Microsoft, Alphabet, Apple, Wells Fargo, and PayPal.
Chase asked the SEC to block the resolution, but it ruled that the resolution must be considered at the company’s 2023 shareholder meeting. We are encouraging faith-based investors to vote “YES” on that proposal.
Major tech and financial institutions need to provide transparency by participating in the Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index, and they need to take concrete steps to address the risks identified in their individual score evaluations.
Robert Netzly is the CEO of Inspire Investing and frequent contributor on FOX, Bloomberg, New York Times and other major media. Read more from Robert in his #1 bestselling book Biblically Responsible Investing, available at Amazon.com and other major retailers.