Displaying items by tag: esg
Investment advisor and banking solutions provider Save recently announced that it launched a savings product that is focused on ESG investing. The firm said in a recent press release that its "Market Savings program offers an option that provides a yield from iShares ESG Aware exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and other ETFs.” According to the press release, the ESG Market Savings portfolio aims to maximize environmental, social, and governance characteristics and exclude companies with certain practices. The release also said that since the launch of this ESG portfolio, about 10% of the people who have signed up for Market Savings have selected the Save ESG portfolio. Save Founder and CEO Michael Nelskyla said the following in the release, “Consumers are increasingly turning to ethical choices in all aspects of life including investments. We see it as our fiduciary responsibility to offer ethical investing through our Market Savings program for those consumers who seek these choices.” The Market Savings program on Save’s Savetech platform offers a yield that varies according to underlying market performance. It also noted that customer deposits are FDIC insured.
Finsum:Save announced that it launched an ESG Market Savings portfolio that aims to maximize environmental, social, and governance characteristics and exclude companies with certain practices.
While ESG has continued to come under fire from both politicians and regulators, ESG fund assets have continued to grow. In fact, sustainable fund assets grew 0.84% through November, which is better than the 1.1% decline for all funds, according to Morningstar. However, the performance of these funds has not been great; but that's not due to political or regulatory pressure. According to analysts, the reason that ESG funds have underperformed this year is that they missed out on the best performing sector this year, which was energy. ESG funds typically don’t hold stocks of oil companies such as ExxonMobil and Chevron that have performed so well this year. According to Morningstar, the average large-cap stock ESG fund has lost nearly 20% through Dec. 21st. That’s about 2.4% worse than the S&P 500 Index. The question is, will that continue into 2023? The answer depends on whether oil companies will continue to outperform. Energy strategists differ in their opinions. Morningstar energy strategist Stephen Ellis thinks it’s unlikely, since “we see the stocks as fairly valued to expensive,” while Fidelity portfolio manager Maurice Fitzmaurice wrote recently “that oil and gas demand should keep growing as effects of the Covid pandemic pass, while lost supplies from Russia prod oil prices to rise.”
Finsum:The performance of ESG funds next year will likely depend on whether oil companies will continue to outperform.
Those darn liberals seem to burning energy on something again – at least according to the Republican staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, stated mondaq.com.
The recently released report, entitled "The New Emperors: Responding to the Growing Influence of the Big Three Asset Managers," delved into the nuts and bolts of their concerns; namely that large asset managers are leveraging their proxy voting power in the name of "liberal social goals." They’re described in the report as more broadly including diversity and inclusion and ESG considerations.
Claims lodged by the report: the application of power, in the form of significant voting influence on corporate policy rather than making the most of getting the most of investor profits by the “Big Three,” BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard.
A regulation entitled “Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights” (the “Final Rule”), was published by the U.S. Department of Labor, according to usbenefits.law.
The Final Rule didn’t leave much to the imagination. Numerous times. the DOL, stressed the regulation was focused mainly on extracting and fixing the impact of ESG investing by plan fiduciaries.
Thornburg Investment Management recently introduced Thornburg Personal ESG Portfolios, a new separately managed account capability that can provide investors with the ability to emphasize ESG factors within their portfolios. The firm, which has $40 billion in client assets, said in a press release that “ESG is an organic extension of Thornburg's core investment competencies as a fundamental, bottom-up, active manager of global equities and global fixed income.” Thornburg will not outsource the ESG decisions. Instead, its analysts and portfolio managers will evaluate ESG information alongside other factors, grounded by materiality standards from the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. The ESG Portfolios will be available through select financial advisory firms and platforms. As part of the announcement, Jason Brady, president & CEO of Thornburg investment management stated "We know that investing with ESG criteria can mean different things to different people. By addressing both these factors in Thornburg Personal ESG Portfolios, we seek to offer a unique opportunity for investors to personalize their portfolios to their ESG values."
Finsum:Investors will now have even more access to ESG-focused SMAs with the launch of the Thornburg Personal ESG Portfolios.
According to a report by US SIF Foundation, a trade group for the sustainable investment industry, the U.S. market for ESG products is less than half of the size previously reported. Assets in U.S. sustainable investments fell 51% from $17.1 trillion at the beginning of 2020 to $8.4 trillion at the start of 2022. The difference is mainly due to changes in the methodology used to calculate the numbers and the impending tightening of regulation, according to the trade group. Ahead of new fund labeling rules by the SEC, the foundation noted that asset managers were being “more circumspect in what they consider to be assets that incorporate ESG criteria”, which led to “modest to steep” declines in ESG AUM reported compared to 2020. In addition, the 2022 report made a new distinction between firm and fund-level claims to sustainability. For example, it did not include “The AUM of investors that stated they practice firm-wide ESG integration without providing additional information on specific ESG criteria that are used in decision-making and portfolio construction.” Rather, they only included the assets of investors or vehicles that “incorporate one or more specific ESG criteria, plus the assets of funds which specify that ESG or sustainability is integral to its decision-making or portfolio construction.”
Finsum:Due to impending regulatory changes and a new calculation methodology, the U.S. market for ESG products is less than half of the size previously reported.