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Will The Real Prison Profiteers Please Stand Up?

F. William Mcnabb II, CEO and Chairman of The Vanguard Group, which owns close to $590 million private prison shares.

F. William Mcnabb II, CEO and Chairman of The Vanguard Group, which owns close to $590 million in private prison shares.

Abigail Johnson, leader of Fidelity Investments, which owns over $520 million in private prison shares.

Abigail Johnson, leader of Fidelity Investments, which owns over $520 million in private prison shares.

The GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) have been active in the press as of late. Most recently, Florida Atlantic University announced that it would name its new stadium the “GEO Group Stadium” in recognition of a $6 million donation from the private prison giant.

The CEO of CCA recently assured investors that there was no need to worry about immigration reform, as Colorlines reported: 

There is always going to be strong demand regardless of what is being done at the national level as far as immigration reform.

Although it is tempting to apportion the moral outrage of immigration detention upon ostensibly evil entities such as CCA, GEO, or ICE, one must be vigilant in following the money.

Who really owns GEO and CCA? A handful of the biggest investment funds in the world. You might even have a stake in one of the companies if you invest in mutual funds.

Fidelity Investments, one of the largest mutual funds and financial services groups in the world, owns over $520 million in shares between CCA and GEO.

The Vanguard Group, another giant investment fund that manages close to $2 trillion in total assets, owns over $580 million in shares between CCA and GEO.

There are several other investment funds and banks that have a substantial amount of money invested in private prisons. For example, Scopia Capital Management, which manages a more modest $3.5 billion in total assets, owns $299,518,488 in GEO shares. That is a staggering 8 percent of their entire holdings.

Scopia would have a lot to lose if immigration reform drastically reduced the need for the detention of human beings  unlucky enough to not be endowed with the golden ticket of U.S. citizenship.

Money corrupts. It creates an impermeable barrier between those that profit and those that the profit is made off of. Profiting off of detaining immigrants is particularly pernicious. The shareholders of GEO and CCA are earning money off of the destruction of immigrant families. They are earning money by contributing to a child losing her father or mother or both forever.

Moreover, the shareholders are earning money from the systematic violation of immigrants’ human rights, which includes but is not limited to the illegal detention of U.S. citizens , rapeundernourishment, and inadequate healthcare of the detainees.

We should not let these profiteers ignore the harm that their profits are causing. Let the public know. Below are the leaders of the funds with the most invested in GEO and CCA. The groups listed below have at least $50 million in ownership of GEO and/or CCA.

F. William Mcnabb II is the CEO and Chairman of Vanguard.

Abigail Johnson leads Fidelity along with her father, Edward C. Johnson III.

Matt Sirovich and Jeremy Mindich run Scopia Capital Management.

Richard McGuire heads Marcato Capital Management.

Stephen M. Goddard is the founder and CFA of London Company of Virginia.

Kenneth M. Jacobs is the Chairman and CEO of Lazard Asset Management.

Keith A. Meister is the founder of Corvex Management LP.

Chris Wallis is the CEO president and CEO of Vaughan Nelson.

Paul Trowbridge Gillepsie Jr. is Co-founder, principal, and president of New South Capital Management, Inc.

Guy Monson is the Managing Partner, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Investment Officer of Sarasin & Partners LLP.

Joseph L. Hooley is the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of State Street Corporation.

Richard Rossi is the President and Co-Chief Operating Officer of Eagle Asset Management, Inc.

R. Andrew Beck is the President and CEO of River Road Asset Management LLC.

David G. Booth is Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Dimensional Fund Advisors LP.

Jay B. Abramson is the CEO of Cramer Rosenthal Mcglynn LLC/Adv.

John G. Stumpf is Chairman, President, and CEO of Wells Fargo & Company.

Lawrence D. Fink is Chairman Chief Executive Officer of Blackrock Fund Advisors.

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