SFOF is closely tied to and funded by a constellation of anti-climate groups.
SFOF’s leadership includes top staff from both ALEC and the Heritage Foundation. Lisa Nelson, the president of ALEC, sits on the Board of Directors. SFOF often holds meetings in conjunction with ALEC. Nelson is also a director of the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), a group allied with SFOF in attacking climate finance. NCPPR presented at SFOF’S February, 2022 policy meeting focused on opposing climate measures.
Jonathan Williams serves as SFOF’s Senior Policy Advisor and as ALEC’s Chief Economist and Executive Vice President of Policy. Williams joined SFOF’s National Advisory Committee in June 2017 and seems to be focused on climate policy in the financial industry for ALEC. Multiple current SFOF members are ALEC alumni including Kentucky State Auditor Mike Harmon, Wyoming Treasurer Curt Meier and Missouri Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick.
The Vice President of the Heritage Foundation, Bridgett Wagner, also sits on the SFOF board. As the Center for Media and Democracy reported, attendee lists from SFOF’s national meetings show a hodgepodge of corporate sponsors, elected officials, and Republican political groups.
SFOF is also funded by the dark-money funded group Consumers’ Research, which has been at the forefront of the campaign against BlackRock, climate initiatives, and shareholder activism aimed at lowering greenhouse gas pollution. SFOF’s turn toward anti-climate finance campaigning coincides with Consumers’ Research becoming one of SFOF’s top sponsors. Consumers’ Research was listed as a “Diamond” level sponsor for the first time at the November 2021 SFOF policy meeting, where Consumers’ Research Executive Director Will Hild presented on “BlackRock/China discussion.” It was the first SFOF meeting with specifically anti-climate discussion topics, which included “The Continuing “ESG” and “Wokeism” Attack on Economic Freedom,” presented by SFOF’s President, Derek Kreifels. Consumers’ Research remains a “Diamond level” sponsor of SFOF in 2022.
Republican activist and one-time Trump Secretary of Labor nominee Andy Puzder sits on SFOF’s board of advisors. Puzder, alongside fellow “thought-leader” Vivek Ramaswamy, have led discussions on opposing climate measures during SFOF meetings. Both Puzder and Ramaswamy have started “anti-woke” asset management firms that hope to replace BlackRock and other asset managers targeted for boycott by SFOF member treasurers.
SFOF also has ties to the fossil fuel industry they seek to defend. The American Petroleum Institute, the largest oil lobbying group in the U.S, held a call on “the SEC Climate Rule proposal” with SFOF and member treasurers in May 2022. In June 2022, an SFOF “Policy Alert” prominently featured API logos and a list of policy asks by the oil industry. API also communicates directly with SFOF member treasurers, arming them with talking points on climate policy. In one email from April 2022, API Director Gifford Briggs passed information on BlackRock to Treasurer Marlo Oaks of Utah. “I also included some info on BlackRock, it seems they are trying to reaffirm their support for industry…” Briggs wrote.
You can find a visual of SFOF's ties to these anti-climate and dark money groups here.