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Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance (September 18)

2022/ 09/ 20 by jd in Global News

ESG “is not a unitary principle or even a collection of a fixed set of particular principles. Rather, ESG encapsulates the range of risks that all corporations must carefully balance, taking into account their specific circumstances, in seeking to achieve long-term, sustainable value.” The ESG label may be new, but “corporate boards and management have long considered ESG factors and risks in setting and executing strategy…. Doing so is associated with superior financial results, and consistent with long-accepted norms as to the place of business in society.”

 

Wall Street Journal (September 6)

2022/ 09/ 07 by jd in Global News

Numerous states have warned the “Big Three” asset managers (BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street) that their ESG policies appear to run counter to “the sole interest rule, a well-established legal principle. The sole interest rule requires investment fiduciaries to act to maximize financial returns, not to promote social or political objectives.”

 

Institutional Investor (June 10)

2022/ 06/ 13 by jd in Global News

“From 2006 to 2015, only four ESG shareholder proposals at companies in the Fortune 250 passed with majority votes. But in recent years, institutional interest in ESG proposals has undergone a dramatic transformation: From 2016 to 2021, 41 ESG shareholder proposals passed.” With ESG proposal now regularly passing, we’ve reached “a milestone for ESG integration.”

 

Institutional Investor (May 25)

2022/ 05/ 26 by jd in Global News

“Managers that want to run fixed-income funds with a focus on environmental, social, and governance factors face larger research challenges than those in stocks. But the massive opportunity in bonds may make the uphill battle worth it.” Compared to equities, the “patchwork of standards” increases the “risks of ESG fixed income funds.”

 

Bloomberg (March 20)

2022/ 03/ 21 by jd in Global News

Paul Clements-Hunt coined the acronym. ESG. He now thinks “the ESG fund industry is headed for a ‘shakeout’ over the next five years.” In successfully attracting trillions of dollars to these investments, “the finance sector has ‘sprinkled ESG fairy dust’ on products that do little to account for environmental, social and governance risks.” These and other shenanigans will increasingly come into “jeopardy.”

 

Harvard Business Review (February 15)

2022/ 02/ 17 by jd in Global News

“A uniform set of standards for measurement and reporting — just as we have for financial performance” is essential for communicating ESG performance. “Imagine a world where each company had to decide for itself how to measure say, revenues, or depreciate its assets…. That is the situation companies have been living in when it comes to ESG — but there is hope on the horizon.” The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) has emerged as the “forerunner… to offer a single source of truth of ESG reporting.”

 

Chief Investment Officer (March 26)

2021/ 03/ 27 by jd in Global News

“The new leadership at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to make environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing one of its top priorities. And now, the commission has launched a new webpage to provide information on ESG-related investing and agency actions…. The SEC is asking its staff to evaluate disclosure rules with an eye on facilitating the disclosure of ‘consistent, comparable, and reliable information on climate change.’”

 

Institutional Investor (February 2)

2021/ 02/ 04 by jd in Global News

“What happens when a company gets an A from one ESG rater and an F from another? With the explosion of ESG data and ratings, there’s little agreement on what makes a company good or bad.”

 

Investment Week (September 14)

2020/ 09/ 16 by jd in Global News

The “Next Generation EU” deal provides ESG investors with much to watch. The €550bn “centerpiece of the stimulus” focuses on fighting climate change through “expenditures earmarked for promoting energy efficiency and developing renewable energy resources, emission-free vehicles, and sustainable transport, alongside other measures of environmental protection designed to help meet Europe’s 2050 climate neutrality pledge.”

 

Institutional Investor (August 25)

2020/ 08/ 27 by jd in Global News

“ESG investments have proven effective at reducing risk and delivering returns comparable to those of non-ESG oriented funds. During the stock market collapse in the first quarter of 2020, Morningstar found that all but two out of 26 ESG indexes suffered fewer losses than their conventional counterparts. Studies from Morgan Stanley and MSCI have found no financial trade-off in the returns delivered by ESG funds relative to traditional funds.”

 

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