Displaying items by tag: SRI

Wednesday, 19 August 2020 15:32

The DOL Crusade Against ESG Continues


Asset managers, other industry participants, and others on the left have been outraged over the last several weeks about a new DOL proposal that would essentially bar ESG investments from being included in 401(k)s. Multiple large asset managers, including BlackRock and T. Rowe Price have issued statements asserting how out of touch the new DOL policy would be with current wealth management trends. The general attitude of asset managers is that the DOL is trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. According to T. Rowe Price, “There is no factual support for the proposition that ESG is being misused currently … Accordingly, the proposed rule’s efforts to impose new requirements on fiduciaries’ consideration of ESG is not necessary”.

FINSUM: We understand the concern about making sure 401ks put economics first, but there just does not seem to be enough evidence of misbehavior to warrant this kind of restrictive policy. Furthermore, ESG funds have been outperforming conventional ones since the start of the pandemic!

Published in Eq: Large Cap
Friday, 10 August 2018 08:29

ESG: Financiers Need Academics

(New York)

ESG is growing steadily in the asset management community. More and more capital is being to committed to green bonds and other sustainable investments. Yet, as anyone who pays close attention will know, the definition of “green” or “sustainable”, is poorly defined. Academics have not helped, as their research—a big part of the movement—has somewhat muddled the power of the brand. Now, however, finance is demanding more research from academics, and both are aiming to work together more closely to deliver a better ESG product.

FINSUM: We can speak from experience in saying that when you get down to actual company selection according to ESG factors, it becomes very difficult to make any informed choices because of how little core data there is on which to make a decision.

Published in Eq: Large Cap
Wednesday, 14 February 2018 09:45

ESG is Now Mainstream

(New York)

Some may like it, some may not, but there is no changing the fact that ESG, or the acronym used to describe various social, governance, and environmental considerations when investing, is now part of the mainstream. Asset managers large and small, recently led by BlackRock, are now using ESG as a key factor in their investing. One asset manager comments that “In general, companies with the strongest records on employee relations and environmental sustainability, for example, often have better financial performance over the long run than those with the weakest records … Do you really want to hold a carbon-intensive company that’s not thinking about [the risks?”.

FINSUM: The big news here is that ESG and other “responsible” funds have had better returns in recent years than conventional funds, so the old mode of thinking this area has poor returns needs to shift.

Published in Alternatives
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