Displaying items by tag: esg
You could say when it comes to blue plate specials, ESGs are on the menu. Make it two. Take a look at the environment. The GOP’s gearing up and, almost inevitably, when the new year hits, a gaggle of House committees will kick off hearings to deal with what some members of the grand party see as the threat ESG poses to a host of issues: investor returns, the country’s oil and gas industry, energy security, universal equal opportunity, according to forbes.com.
And, hey, stick around. More very well might be lurking around the corner. Then there’s Europe’s stake. With assets managers taking in fresh regulatory proposals that could send the Europe’s largest ESG fund category into a tailspin, there’s a plan by its markets watchdog, ESMA, according to linkedin.com. The upshot of the plan: set quantifiable ESG and sustainable investing standards, which is compelling portfolio managers to think twice about the way they design and market an ESG fund class – Article 8.
According to the results of a recent survey, fixed-income investors want more ESG data than what is currently available. A survey of 111 senior buy-side fixed-income investors, which was conducted by analytics firm Coalition Greenwich, found that 90% believe ESG is important to decision-making, but only a third have fully integrated ESG into their risk analysis. The reason for the large difference is a lack of ESG data. Coalition Greenwich’s senior analyst Stephen Bruel stated “It boils down to risk management. If you don’t have reliable ESG data about an issuer or issuance, then it’s harder to calculate what the negative consequences might be.” More than half of the respondents said it was “important to incorporate ESG in fixed-income portfolios to perpetuate corporate values,” but there’s a “gap between where the survey participants want the industry to be and where it actually is.” Data was listed as the largest obstacle to achieving these ESG goals. The concerns about ESG data quality included greenwashing and inconsistent ratings. Essentially, if the data isn’t reliable, then quantifying risk becomes harder, which could open up investors to sizeable losses. This is especially true with the calculation of climate risk, which would certainly benefit from more data.
Finsum: Based on the results of a recent survey, fixed-income professionals believe ESG is important, but a lack of data is preventing more of them from implementing an ESG strategy.
ESG seems to be getting battered by all sides. Not only do ESG funds have to deal with regulators bearing down on their messaging and politicians questioning their purpose, but performance has also been an issue, especially this year. According to a new Bloomberg article, the 10 largest ESG funds by assets have all posted double-digit losses, with eight of them underperforming the S&P 500. This includes the iShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETF (ESGU) which has $20.7 billion in assets and the Vanguard ESG US Stock ETF (ESGV) which currently has $5.9 billion in AUM. The worst performer so far has been the Brown Advisory Sustainable Growth fund (BAFWX) which was down 28.1% year to date as of Dec 5th. Poor performance in BAFWX can be attributed to a chunk of the portfolio being in software, semiconductor, and internet stocks, which have been hit hard this year due to rising interest rates, inflationary concerns, and the possibility of a recession. However, despite the bad performance, money continues to flow into ESG funds. A recent study by Harvard Business School professors found that investors are willing to accept lower returns in exchange for the societal benefits of ESG.
Finsum:Despite underperforming the S&P 500, large ESG funds continue to see inflow as investors are willing to accept lower returns in exchange for the benefits ESG provides society.
Asset managers and retirement plan advisers should be aware of how they are managing and presenting ESG funds. According to analysts at Fitch Ratings, recent regulatory actions are likely to continue into 2023. For instance, last week, Goldman Sachs paid the Securities and Exchange Commission $4 million to settle charges of failing to correctly incorporate ESG research into investment procedures and branding. In another example, on May 23, a BNY Mellon Investment Adviser paid a $1.5 million penalty for misstatements and omissions about ESG representation in mutual funds. In a press release on Tuesday, Fitch said “These types of charges are likely to continue as the SEC looks to crack down on greenwashing.” Fitch also noted that these types of charges can “lead to reputational damage that can weaken franchises, particularly if they occur repeatedly.” Earlier in the year, the SEC proposed updates to fund naming rules and a new mandatory disclosure related to ESG investment practices. Fitch said the agency’s actions have resulted in asset managers being more conservative regarding their ESG messaging.
Finsum:With regulatory actions on ESG greenwashing expected to continue, asset managers need to be more conservative with their ESG credentials.
China has more than protests on its place these days; it’s also ratcheted up its standards on requirements for ESG disclosure, according to linkedin.com.
The country’s banking and insurance regulators sent its most powerful signal to date that supporting the green economy also should be on the plates of banks insurers. New guidelines were introduced by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission making it incumbent upon on banking insurance entities to set forth strategies, processes and capacity to abet the transition to a sustainable future.
Typically, these measures change the duties of investors to blend ESG factors into investment decisions and stewardship and keep in mind beneficiary or client sustainability preferences. What’s more, they must report to their beneficiaries or clients.
Since the growth of China’s ESG market works in conjunction with the development of the country’s green finance market, when it comes to ESG policy, it’s a no no to talk it over if the evolution of the country’s green finance policies aren’t kept in mind, according to sixthone.com.