At last week’s press conference calling for HB2’s repeal. (Left to right): Matthew Patsky, Trillium Asset Management; Bonny Moellenbrock, Investors Circle; Todd Sears, Out Leadership; and Dr. Joshua Humphreys, Croatan Institute. Sears is a NC native, and both Bonnie and Joshua are based in Durham, NC.
On Monday, September 26, Self-Help joined a group of more than 50 investment management firms calling for the full repeal of North Carolina's House Bill 2 (HB2). Investors that signed on to a joint statement included RBC Wealth Management, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, John Hancock and Trillium Asset Management. Collectively, all the investors opposing HB2 manage $2.1 trillion in assets. That figure is expected to grow as more investors formally join the opposition in the coming days and weeks.
Investors are known to be practical people who care about bottom-line profits. So why would they care about HB2?
First, many investors and financial institutions—like Self-Help—believe that legalizing discrimination is wrong. We also know that HB2 is bad for business.
- Nearly 93% of the Fortune 500 have adopted inclusive non-discrimination policies protecting their employees on the basis of sexual orientation.
- 75% of the Fortune 500 also include gender identity and expression in order to better position themselves to attract and retain the best talent.
- A Credit Suisse-funded report found that companies with strong policies on LGBT protections financially outperform those that do not.
- Many aspects of NC commerce are being negatively affected. In addition to cancelled concerts and sporting events, key economic players such as credit rating agencies have flagged HB2 as a concern.
Self-Help joined many others in voicing opposition to the law when it was hastily enacted last March. We have always opposed discrimination of any kind. Since last spring, criticism of the law has only grown, and the costs have mounted. Recent estimates show the law has cost the state at least $400 million dollars, with costs rising.
HB2 overturns municipal non-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and prohibits transgender people from using restrooms consistent with their gender identity. As Self-Help continues to work for greater social justice and opportunity, HB2 goes against everything we believe.
For more information and a sample of media coverage:
Joint press release issued by Trillium Asset Management, NYC Comptroller & Croatan Institute
WRAL, video of press conference