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Alternative Market Briefing

German hedge funds, investors grapple with defining ESG standards

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

As Europe increases its focus on ESG investment strategies, fund managers in Germany are thinking through how to make their growing alternatives industry more sustainable. Delegates at the recent Opalesque Germany Roundtable note that creating strategies with ESG frameworks in mind is necessary for attracting European institutional assets but it's not always clear how ESG is defined for each investor.

"We have gotten some polite requests from several large German institutional investors asking what we were doing in the SRI space," explained Prime Capital's Andreas Kalusche, noting that as a result the firm is thinking through how best to start using ESG frameworks in its investment decisions. "We do not have a lot of business in Holland and in Scandinavia at this stage, but investors in these countries also became aware of us and in fact, they really put these criteria at the very front of their RFPs." For firms that want to be competitive in Europe, being able to answer a variety of questions about sustainability in the investment portfolio is table stakes.

As investors push for greater incorporation of ESG strategies into portfolios, fund managers are having to work through what it all means. Prime Capital has joined 75 other hedge funds in UN PRI's ESG investing working group. The goal of the working group is to help create standards for ESG investing that make it easier for investors to compare investment strategie......................

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