Displaying items by tag: esg

Friday, 10 February 2023 03:44

Investors Avoid ESG When Times Get Tough

Robin Döttling, an assistant professor of finance in the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University in the Netherlands, and Sehoon Kim, an assistant professor at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business, authors of a recently published academic study, found that individual investor demand for socially responsible investing “is highly sensitive to income shocks” and economic stress. The professors went through mutual fund flow data and surveyed investors' views of and expectations for sustainable investing. The study focused on the periods immediately before and after the COVID pandemic went global in early 2020. The results show that when times get tough for individual investors, helping to save the planet takes a backseat to selling funds that they believe may lose more during a downturn. When an economic shock results in incomes shrinking, investors become more risk-averse. In the authors’ words, “We start to view the emotional or nonfinancial appeal of ESG investing as ‘costly’ and ‘unsustainable’ if it means forfeiting returns.” However, the study found that demand for ESG investments from institutions such as pension funds remained more robust. Their actions are typically constrained by investment mandates and are often slower to respond to market shocks. In addition, those investors don’t have to face the same kind of pressures that individual investors deal with during COVID lockdowns and job losses.

Finsum:A recently published academic study conducted before and after the COVID pandemic found that individual investors sell ESG investments during economic downturns, while the demand for ESG remains robust among institutional investors.

Category: Wealth Management

Keywords: investors, ESG, covid, mutual funds

Published in Wealth Management
Thursday, 02 February 2023 06:43

Older Generations Embracing Impact Investing

While the younger generations have been driving interest in ESG, it appears that the older generations are changing their stance on aligning their values with sustainable investments as they want to leave the world in a better place. This is according to a study by Campden Wealth for Global Impact Solutions Today (GIST) and Barclays Private Bank. They collected data from nearly 150 respondents, including the world’s wealthiest individuals, families, family offices, and their foundations. The respondents come from 35 countries and have an average of $730m in assets under management. The study found that 36% want to demonstrate their family wealth can be invested for positive outcomes, a 13% increase from the previous year’s findings. In addition, more than half said sustainable investing is bridging the gap between younger and older generations, and almost 70% reported sustainable investing is being embraced by the generation in charge of the family’s wealth. More than three-quarters (77%) said they want to leave the world a better place, while 84% said their private capital will be essential in addressing climate change. Damian Payiatakis, head of sustainable and impact investing at Barclays Private Bank stated, “These global wealth holders have realized their capital makes an impact on the world. Accordingly, they want their portfolio to be lucrative and to be personally meaningful. The mindset shifts I’m seeing is to invest not only for tomorrow but to influence it.”

Finsum:Based on the results of a new study, impact investing is bridging the gap between younger and older generations, with almost 70% reporting that sustainable investing is being embraced by the generation in charge of the family’s wealth.

Published in Wealth Management
Friday, 27 January 2023 14:00

Advisors Prepare for ESG Backlash

According to analysts, advisors are preparing for investor backlash regarding ESG investing amid divestments from red states. Several states such as Kentucky, Florida, Missouri, and Texas have threatened to pull pension funds from companies that boycott energy companies. In addition, anti-ESG firm Strive Asset Management recently launched a “financial educational campaign” aimed at encouraging investors to press advisors on ESG issues. Michele Giuditta, director of Cerulli Associates noted that during a 2022 poll, 46% of financial advisors cited the perception that ESG investing is politically motivated as a “significant deterrent to ESG adoption,” compared to just 16% in 2021. However, two-thirds of advisors say they consider ESG factors for at least a portion of their client accounts. Giuditta added, “Advisors will need to discuss the merits of ESG and sustainable investing with their clients and reinforce how and why asset managers are using relevant ESG data to drive long-term economic value.” Craig Kilgallen, relationship manager at Fuse Research, told Ignites that while state bans can discourage institutions from investing with an asset manager, the same may not be true for retail investors. He added, “As it relates to the intermediary world, I’ve anecdotally heard that firms are not changing the way ESG is discussed.”

Finsum:While state bans on ESG-focused managers may discourage institutions from investing with an asset manager,it won’t stop advisors from considering ESG for their clients.

Published in Eq: Total Market

Putnam recently announced the launch of five new transparent, actively managed exchange-traded funds, including three fixed-income ETFs that build upon the capabilities and experience of the firm’s Fixed Income team. The bond ETFs include the Putnam ESG Core Bond ETF (PCRB), the Putnam ESG High Yield ETF (PHYD), and the Putnam ESG Ultra Short ETF (PULT). As part of the announcement, Carlo Forcione, Head of Product and Strategy at Putnam stated, “We are enthused about extending our ETF product shelf into the actively managed fixed income and non-U.S. equity spaces.” PCRB invests in bonds of governments and private companies located in the United States that are investment grade in quality with intermediate- to long-term maturities with a focus on issuers that Putnam believes meet relevant ESG criteria. PHYD invests in bonds that are below investment grade in quality which are obligations of U.S. issuers and have intermediate- to long-term maturities. The fund will also focus on issuers that Putnam believes meet relevant ESG criteria on a sector-specific basis. PULT invests in a diversified portfolio of fixed-income securities composed of short-duration, investment-grade money market, and other fixed-income securities, with a focus on issuers that the firm believes meet relevant ESG criteria on a sector-specific basis.

Finsum:Putnam recently launched three actively managed bond ETFs, including the Putnam ESG Core Bond ETF, the Putnam ESG High Yield ETF, and the Putnam ESG Ultra Short ETF.

Published in Bonds: Total Market
Saturday, 21 January 2023 09:18

ESG Themes to Keep an Eye on in 2023

Last year was a notable year for ESG investing. While ESG funds dealt with underperformance, anti-ESG initiatives, and regulation, demand continued to be strong for these funds. This year could be just as eventful for the strategy. First, there were record numbers of shareholder resolutions filed at public companies last year due to the SEC’s friendlier stance on them. That is expected to continue as companies set climate-related targets and shareholders press them on ESG matters. Second, while 57% of institutions expect the energy sector to outperform the market again this year, according to Natixis’ Global Survey of Institutional Investors, 46% said that they are increasing investments in renewables, twice the rate of those increasing investments in fossil fuels. Third, while the SEC has proposed a set of rules designed to help curb greenwashing, firms have a bigger motivator to stop, sweep examinations. According to Michael McGrath, a partner at K&L Gates, “That has had a greater impact on the approaches of firms to their ESG marketing actions thus far than have the new rules. That’s really because firms have an immediate concern that needs to be addressed.” The last theme to watch is anti-ESG initiatives. Asset managers that are focused on sustainable investing will have to accept the fact that they may not be competitive in some markets.

Finsum:2022 was a highly eventful year for ESG investing and this year will be no different due to themes such as shareholder resolutions, increased investments in renewables, SEC sweep examinations, and continued anti-ESG initiatives. 

Published in Wealth Management
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