WASHINGTON, DC / April 25, 2023
At the upcoming May 5th annual meeting, Berkshire Hathaway investors will have an opportunity to vote for a shareholder proposal, filed by investment manager Ridgeline Research on behalf of the American Conservative Values ETF’s (ACVF) shareholders. This proposal requests that the company encourage a senior management commitment at Berkshire Hathaway and its portfolio companies to avoid supporting or taking a public position on any controversial social or political issues (collectively “political speech”).
Read more: Berkshire Hathaway Inc. – 2023 Proxy Statement
“We had hoped that Berkshire would be supportive of the proposal, given their investments in publicly traded companies, which expose them to this risk,” said William Flaig, ACVF’s CEO and co-founder.
The American Conservative Values ETF (ACVF) is based on the conviction that politically active companies negatively impact their shareholder returns, as well as support issues and causes that conflict with our conservative political ideals, beliefs, and values.
“The focus of corporations should be on shareholder returns and providing goods and services to consumers, not weighing in on social and political issues that alienate consumers and investors,” said Tom Carter, president of the American Conservative Values ETF, adding, “The fact that playing politics alienates investors should be on the minds of CEOs and their boards of directors.”
“In the recent past, we have witnessed several instances of corporate America’s senior managers engaging in seemingly unnecessary political speech on behalf of the corporations they manage,” adds Flaig. These partisan assertions subsequently become controversial and create massive reputational, legal, and financial risks.
The following are examples to note:
The CEOs of Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines engaged in a divisive speech regarding Georgia voting laws, thereby creating an unnecessary maelstrom of publicity, with far-reaching business consequences.
“The CEOs of Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines exercised questionable judgment by inserting their companies into a political issue that could bring significant backlash to their brands which can harm long-term shareholder value,” said Tom Carter.
Disney’s former, CEO, Bob Chapek, inserted himself into politics, speaking out against Florida’s Governor DeSantis’ ‘Don’t Say/Teach Gay’ bill. The resulting uproar destroyed their reputation among politically conservative investors. Disney shot from 6th place to number one by far in our most woke/liberal companiessurvey results.
ACVF has never owned Disney (DIS) and divested its holdings of both Coca-Cola (KO) and Delta (DAL) on 4/8/21, in response to their previous noted actions.
The risk of this kind of behavior exists for all public corporations and needs to be recognized by shareholders and their representative boards. It can be easily and reasonably mitigated by senior management’s commitment to avoid political speech made on behalf of the corporations they manage.
The fiduciary duty that all senior management owes to the company itself and, through it, the shareholders does not permit those managers to take political stances on behalf of the company.
Senior management should not conform to their political policy preferences or take any controversial political or social stances on behalf of the company, without first undertaking a full and unbiased analysis of all the consequences that could follow. Management should ensure that any action is driven by business necessity rather than the personal policy preferences of senior managers.
“We created the American Conservative Values ETF for political conservative investors who want to avoid investing in companies that do not align with their political values,” said Flaig, adding, “I’m proud to offer an alternative to the S&P 500, which currently keeps 27 cents of every invested dollar out of these companies.”
The American Conservative Values ETF (ACVF) is based on the conviction that politically active companies negatively impact their shareholder returns, as well as support issues and causes which conflict with our conservative political ideals, beliefs and values.
ACVF’s priority is shareholder returns and to provide an investment alternative for politically conservative investors. Simply put, ACVF seeks to boycott as many companies hostile to conservative values as possible without sacrificing performance. ACVF is designed to replace your current large-cap investments.
To schedule an interview with Mr. Flaig or Mr. Carter, please contact them at
Carefully consider the Fund’s investment objectives, risk factors, charges, and expenses before investing. This and additional information can be found in the Fund’s prospectus and Summary Prospectus, which may be obtained by visiting ACVETFS.com. Read the prospectus and Summary Prospectus carefully before investing.
An investment in the Fund is subject to risks, including the possible loss of the principal amount invested. Overall stock market risks may affect the value of individual securities in which the Fund invests. The Fund is actively managed, the Adviser’s investment decisions impact the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. The Fund’s performance may be subject to investor sourced research and opinion risk which could result in investment choices that underperform the market generally.
ETF shares are bought and sold at market price (closing price) not net asset value (NAV) and are not individually redeemed from the Fund. Market price returns are based on the midpoint of the bid/ask spread at 4:00pm Eastern Time (when NAV is normally determined) and do not represent the return you would receive if you traded at other times. Brokerage commissions will reduce returns.
An investment in the Fund is subject to risks, including the possible loss of the principal amount invested. Overall stock market risks may affect the value of individual securities in which the Fund invests. The Fund is actively managed, and the adviser’s investment decisions impact the Fund’s performance. The Fund and adviser are new, and the ETF has only recently commenced operations. This Fund may not be suitable for all investors.
The equity securities in which the Fund invests will generally be those of companies with large market capitalizations. Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) trade like stocks, are subject to investment risk, and will fluctuate in market value. Transactions in shares of ETFs will result in brokerage commissions, which will reduce returns. Unlike typical exchange-traded funds, there are no indexes that the Fund attempts to track or replicate. Thus, the ability of the Fund to achieve its objectives will depend on the effectiveness of the portfolio manager. There is no assurance that the investment process will consistently lead to successful investing. The Fund is new and has a limited operating history.
The ACVF Fund is distributed by Foreside Fund Services, LLC. Foreside is not affiliated with Ridgeline Research, LLC.
SOURCE: American Conservative Values ETF