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Alternative Market Briefing

Other Voices: ESG and fund managers

Friday, June 19, 2020

By: Leonora Shalet, Morrison and Forrester

A Subcommittee of the SEC Investor Advisory Committee has issued a recommendation relating to ESG disclosures for issuers, and this was a focus at the Asset Management Advisory Committee on May 27. Not only did they raise environmental, social and corporate governance concerns with respect to funds, but they also raised whether the asset managers should have to comply with, and make disclosures with, respect to ESG requirements.

The Committee concluded in the meeting that they expect to develop recommendations based on their assessments and the members' feedback by the end of 2020. The Subcommittee has spoken previously with a number of asset managers, among others, and has found that "investors consider certain ESG information material to their investment and voting decisions, regardless of whether their investment mandates include an 'ESG-specific' strategy." Of particular interest to fund managers, the Subcommittee noted that "by the end of 2019, over 2,300 global asset owners and asset managers representing close to $80 trillion had signed the UN Principles for Responsible Investment committing to incorporate ESG issues into their investment analysis and decision-making investment processes." The asset managers that are now placing an emphasis on ESG include some of the global leaders in the space: following the open letter by BlackRock's Chairman and CEO, Larry Fink, in which he focused on climate change, BlackRock has p......................

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