Dump your strip shares - our call to Thrivent
US-based investment firm Thrivent Financial for Lutherans has quietly sold off nearly 10,000 shares - nearly a million dollars worth - in strip club company RCI Hospitality Holdings (NASDAQ: $RICK) after Collective Shout campaigner and CSR advisor Lyn Swanson Kennedy called on them to divest.
We were surprised when we discovered Thrivent - a company with particular appeal to faith-based and ethically motivated investors - was propping up and profiting from the sale of women’s bodies as men’s sexual entertainment.
2022 Event organised by Thrivent Member Network (Northeast Region)
We wondered if Thrivent's clients (and financial advisers!) were aware it had used their hard-earned dollars to purchase ownership in 40+ strip club venues situated across the United States.
RCIHH ($RICK) CEO Eric Langan, Source: Rio Joe Show
We called them out.
Last November, Lyn tweeted Thrivent to ask which of its values were upheld by its investment in RCIHH strip clubs.
Curious about this Nasdaq list of RCI Hospitality Holdings institutional shareholders, featuring @thrivent - just wondering which of Thrivent’s values are upheld by its investment in the sale of women’s bodies for men’s sexual entertainment? https://t.co/b7Qftb6jZ1 pic.twitter.com/T3BkGA9cjE— LSKennedy (@LSKennedy5) November 25, 2022
Thrivent did not respond.
So Lyn exposed a range of sexploitation activities Thrivent was propping up through its investment - including recruitment of young, female college students for ‘amateur’ strip nights.
She said it was unclear how investment in RCI Hospitality Holdings aligned with Thrivent’s mission to help clients and future generations “Thrive with Purpose”, or with its long-standing reputation as a ‘world’s most ethical company’ (as awarded by global leader in ethical business practices Ethisphere).
.@Thrivent can’t claim ignorance. RCI Hospitality Holdings is entirely transparent about its commodification of women’s bodies for men’s sexual entertainment. So, asking again @Thrivent: which corporate values does your RICK investment uphold? Will you be divesting? pic.twitter.com/IJnvdrxwFR— LSKennedy (@LSKennedy5) December 2, 2022
We tracked down some corporate execs and directors on LinkedIn and asked them what they thought of Thrivent’s strip club investment.
Some of our comments disappeared. When our Engagement Coordinator Coralie Alison asked a Thrivent executive about the company's strip club investment on Twitter, Thrivent responded by blocking her.
I clearly hit a nerve this morning by asking a question. Blocked by Thrivent. For the full story on their investment in strip clubs see here >> https://t.co/m60qtig25T@t_charitable pic.twitter.com/BZPbxq9jfJ— Coralie Alison (@CoralieAlison) March 17, 2023
To date, Thrivent has not responded to our requests for comment.
WIN: Thrivent for Lutherans (quietly) dumps $RICK shares
In February, we discovered Thrivent's sharehold in $RICK had been changed to 'Sold Out' (Source: Nasdaq).
Fintel reported on Thrivent's share sell-off:
On February 8, 2023 - Thrivent Financial For Lutherans filed a 13F-HR form disclosing ownership of 0 shares of RCI Hospitality Holdings Inc (US: RICK) valued at $0 USD as of December 31, 2022. The entity filed a previous 13F-HR on November 14, 2022 disclosing 9,758 shares of RCI Hospitality Holdings Inc. This represents a change in shares of -100.00% during the quarter. The current value of the position is $0 USD.
Records show heavy divestment of strip club shares from other Thrivent-owned portfolios.
Thrivent STILL a strip club owner
Thrivent maintains its ownership in RCIHH strip clubs, reportedly through company shares floated on the German stock exchange (trade code: RIK.DE).
At the time of writing, Thrivent held 7,500 RCI Hospitality Holdings shares across its portfolios.
We were pleased to learn Thrivent dumped a significant proportion of its strip club shares. Why did they buy the shares in the first place? And why are they still propping up and profiting from activities which harm women and girls?
Thrivent needs to match its corporate values with action by divesting fully from RCIHH.
Tell Thrivent to dump its RCI Hospitality Holdings shares:
Let us know if you get a response.