Vivek Ramaswamy-Linked Firm Takes McDonald’s Stake, Targets Diversity Policies
By Lauren Thomas
Strive Asset Management, the shareholder known on Wall Street for railing against corporate “wokeness” and whose co-founder, Vivek Ramaswamy, is running for president (https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-anti-woke-presidential-candidate-who-wants-to-crush-esg-and-gut-the-fed-a486fdc), is taking aim at fast-food giant McDonald’s over its diversity policies.
Strive this week sent a letter to McDonald’s expressing concerns over the way the restaurant operator handles diversity, equity and inclusion. A copy of the letter was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Strive has purchased just under $2 million worth of McDonald’s shares, according to people familiar with the matter, a fraction of the fast-food giant’s nearly $215 billion market capitalization. Strive, which launched last year, manages less than $1 billion in assets overall.
Strive in its letter highlighted the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that the affirmative-action admission policies of Harvard (https://www.wsj.com/articles/harvard-unc-students-for-fair-admissions-supreme-court-affirmative-action-john-roberts-clarence-thomas-racial-preferences-f8c998f6) and the University of North Carolina, which gave weight to a would-be student’s race, are unconstitutional.
Strive said it is concerned about a McDonald’s decision to set race- and gender-based targets for its board, management and employee ranks, as well its race-based targets for suppliers and vendors.
“While the Supreme Court’s decision focused on ending the use of affirmative action in the higher education context, the Civil Rights Act applies to both universities that receive federal funds and private employers such as McDonald’s,” the letter said. Strive cites AT&T and Starbucks as examples of companies that have faced litigation for diversity policies that provided preferential treatment.
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