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Alternative Market Briefing

Investors opt for ESG in ever greater numbers as metrics and benchmarks improve

Friday, April 23, 2021

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

ESG strategies continue to be front of mind for investors, according to a new survey from Natixis Investment Managers. Natixis Investment Managers surveyed 3,600 professional investors globally, including 500 institutional investors, 400 fund selectors and 2,700 financial professionals, about the issues that drive their decisions on ESG investing.

Approximately three-quarters of professional investors, including 72% of institutional investors and 77% of the gatekeepers who select funds for their firm's investment advisory platform, are now implementing ESG strategies, up from 61% and 65%, respectively, in 2018.

The pace of growth accelerated in 2020, amid record inflows into ESG funds and an unprecedented number of ESG product launches. This year, 68% of professional fund selectors plan to further expand their firm's ESG offerings. Investors cite a higher social awareness of ESG issues as well as the adoption of ESG strategies by retail investors as drivers for the rise.

Natixis found that 77% of professional fund selectors and 75% of institutional investors now consider ESG factors an integral part of sound investing. Questions about measurements and metrics which have historically been reasons to go slow on ESG are subsiding. 83% of fund selectors and 79% of institutional investors say it's gotten easier to benchmark performance. More than half of professional investors including 53% of institutional investors and 55% of fun......................

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