For many years ESG had been a fairly neglected asset class. Advisors and many retail investors thought that investing capital with moral considerations would hurt returns. Over the years many things have changed, including investors learning that ESG screens have actually led to outperformance in many cases and younger generations showing that they care a great deal more about these issues than their parents. Well, those stimuli have led to huge growth in the ESG space, and are leading to big revenue gains for asset managers. Fund providers are able to charge significantly higher fees for ESG-focused ETFs because of their moral importance to clients, and this has led to good fee revenue in an industry that is otherwise seeing contraction.
FINSUM: The key thing to remember here is that ESG funds don’t cost any more to run, so this is highly profitable for asset managers.