Free Enterprise Action Fund requests audit committee review of JP Morgan Chase capitulation to social activist demands
For more info contact: Steve Milloy, 301-258-2852, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington DC (April 26, 2005) – Action Fund Management, LLC, the investment adviser to the Free Enterprise Action Fund (www.FreeEnterpriseActionFund.com), called for an Audit Committee review of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s decision to adopt lending policies advocated by anti-business activists.
The Free Enterprise Action Fund (FEAF), a shareholder of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM), was launched on March 1, 2005. The FEAF is a pioneering mutual fund seeking to provide investors with a financial return while educating and persuading companies to focus on increasing shareholder value and profits rather than trying to appease outside activists. The FEAF owns less than one percent of the outstanding shares of JPM.
On March 17, 2005, Action Fund Management (AFM) requested that bank management conduct a bona fide analysis of the costs and benefits to shareholders, employees and customers – particularly those in the developing world – of implementing the demands of the anti-business activist group Rainforest Action Network concerning lending policies for energy and land-use projects.
“JPM didn’t provide or otherwise indicate to AFM that any such analysis had been conducted,” said Steve Milloy, AFM’s lead portfolio manager for the Free Enterprise Action Fund.
JPM said it “carefully considered the viewpoints of various constituents” in devising the new policy, according to its media release. The constituents listed in the media release, however, are mostly anti-business activist groups, led by the Rainforest Action Network.
We request that JPM’s Audit Committee (1) undertake this analysis – particularly with respect to the role of outside activist groups in determining bank lending practices; (2) report the results to its shareholders; and (3) review the new policy according to the results of the analysis as soon as possible.
“We’d like to see the Audit Committee complete this review before the new policy impacts JPM’s shareholders, employees and customers – especially those in the developing world who desperately need financing from the developed world to escape poverty,” said Milloy.
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