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Alternative Market Briefing

US SIF report: ESG assets in alts funds triple

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

No matter how you define it - sustainable, responsible, ESG or impact - a new report from US SIF shows that these feel good strategies are no longer fringe funds. The biennial report, "US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends 2018", which was released today shows that investment strategies that have ESG factors at the center of their approach have seen a 38 percent increase in AUM since the report was last done in 2016. Investors now consider ESG factors across $12 trillion of professionally managed assets and are adding more all the time.

"The data is in and investors recognize that companies that do well on ESG also tend to outperform financially," said Josh Humphreys, President and Senior Fellow at the Croatan Institute in a briefing with reporters today. "Companies that focused on ESG weathered the financial crisis better than companies that didn't and they've continued that positive trajectory."

The interest in and recognition of ESG factors in investment strategies is also gaining ground in alternatives. While early ESG funds may have relied on index screening to remove oil stocks or gun companies, alternative investment managers have been working on creating differentiated strategies that use ESG factors to evaluate companies or to invest in growing industries like sustainable development. According to the report, ESG assets in alternative investment vehicles has nearly tripled over the past two years......................

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