Providers of ETFs that invest based on principles of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) are facing headwinds from multiple sides. First, they are about to be hit with a batch of new rules from the SEC. Secondly, they have been put directly in the middle of a political battle between those for ESG and those who think it is just woke capitalism. On the SEC front, the agency recently published the results of two consultations. The first was on proposals to change the so-called Names Rule. The SEC wants to strictly define how a fund’s constituent investments should be reflected in its name. The second was on proposals for requirements on ESG disclosures for investment advisers and investment companies. On the political front, Florida passed a resolution in August that bans its pension fund managers from considering ESG with regard to their investing strategies. During the same month, Texas criticized BlackRock and nine European financial groups for boycotting the fossil fuel industry.
Finsum:ESG ETF providers are facing criticism on both the regulatory and political fronts.