shutterstock_490960141-1

Industry News: ESG5

Spotlight on Investors: Aegon Asset Management

Aegon Asset Management is a subsidiary of Aegon, a Dutch insurer headquartered in The Hague. The firm had US$ 361 billion of assets under management as of December 31, 2017, of which $14.2 billion are managed under an Impact or Socially Responsible mandate.

Aegon Asset Management's approach to responsible investments includes ESG integration, Impact investments, Exclusions, Engagement and Voting. The management company believes that collaboration is necessary to advance responsible investment practices. As such, Aegon Asset Management is part of the University of Cambridge's Institute for Sustainability Leadership, ShareAction, GIIN, Climate Action 100+ and many others to engage with companies and contribute to research.

Aegon N.V. Responsible Investment Policy 2018

Responsible Investment Report 2017

Lloyd's of London Unveils Lifetime Bans for Sexual Harassment

2019-03-21

Bloomberg: Lloyd’s of London outlined a plan to address allegations of sexual harassment by setting up an independent whistleblower hotline and laying out potential lifetime bans for inappropriate behavior.

Read more...

Hedge Fund Legend Michael Steinhardt Accused of Sexual Harassment

2019-03-21

Institutional Investor: A New York Times and ProPublica report claims that the retired hedge fund manager and current WisdomTree chairman has made inappropriate remarks — allegedly including requesting sex — to women employed by charities that he supports.

Read more...

Goldman Sachs Implements Its Own ‘Rooney Rule’ in Diversity Push

2019-03-18

The Wall Street Journal: Managers at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will be required to interview two diverse candidates for any open job, a push the firm hopes will change its heavily white, male workforce.

Read more...

Dutch Regulator ‘World’s First’ to Sign up to PRI

2019-03-21

IPE: Dutch pensions supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has become the world’s first central bank to sign up to the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

Read more...

Fitting ESG into Portfolios

2019-03-20

Advisor's Edge: Investing in lumber relates to multiple SDGs, including climate action, infrastructure, and sustainable consumption and production, she said in a Feb. 21 interview.

Read more...

Corporate Reporting Dialogue Announces Market Consultation on Building Better Alignment

2019-03-14

CDSB: Participants of the Corporate Reporting Dialogue – an initiative bringing together the major standard setters and framework providers globally – are launching a six-week global consultation process on Wednesday 20 March 2019, to gather views from stakeholders on how to drive better alignment of sustainability reporting frameworks, as well as with frameworks that promote integration between non-financial and financial reporting. 

Read more... 

Chart of the Week: ‘Green’ Funds Taking Market Share in Unlisted Space

2019-03-22

IPE: More than €57bn is now invested in unlisted ‘green’ funds, across infrastructure, private equity, private debt, real estate and forestry, according to research from Novethic.

Read more...

Farad Group & Thomas Schumann Capital Launch Water Security Fund

2019-03-22

Investment Europe: Farad Group and Thomas Schumann Capital have launched the first first global responsible investment fund to invest in public companies that embrace water security, exhibit social, environmental and financial responsibility.

Read more...

Neuberger Berman Announces Firm-Wide Climate-Related Corporate Strategy and Risk Analysis Capability

2019-03-18

Morning Star: Neuberger Berman, a private, independent, employee-owned investment manager, announced that it had completed the implementation of the main recommendations of the Financial Stability Board's Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD).

Read more... 

Spotlight on Investors: Walden Asset Management

Founded in 1975, Walden Asset Management is a division of Boston Trust & Investment Management Company which solely focuses on responsible and impact investing. Firm-wide assets under management were $7.9 billion as of year-end 2018.

Since its inception, Walden Asset Management has been integrating environmental, social and governance factors into investment decisions. The firm is a proponent of corporate responsibility and influences their portfolio companies through active engagements, and shareholder resolutions. In 2018, 77 out of 171 companies engaged implemented positive changes regarding Climate Change, Equality and Governance. Further, Walden Asset Management collaborates with their peers, NGOs and Stakeholders to improve ESG incorporation and advocate for effective public policy on pertinent ESG issues.

Annual Impact Report - 2018

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure Response – 2019

What Does a Paris-compliant Climate Change Strategy Look Like?

2019-03-05

GreenBiz: As the 2019 proxy-voting season begins, shareholders have proposed climate change resolutions at seven oil majors — BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Anadarko Petroleum, Hess, Equinor and Shell — asking them to set long-term targets for their operations and products that align with the Paris Agreement. After significant growth in the last two years of shareholder support for climate change resolutions, companies seem to be taking these matters more seriously. But how would a Paris-compliant corporate strategy look? We consider some possibilities here.

Read more...

Regulators Set Up Climate Risk Monitoring Committee

2019-03-12

IPE: The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) hosted the inaugural meeting of their new Climate Financial Risk Forum on 8 March.

Read more...

Investing in the World We Want

2019-03-11

Top 1000 Funds: This brings new challenges; investing can be daunting for those without specialist knowledge, nobody can know for sure exactly how much they need to save for their retirement, and living for longer means most of us will have to continue managing our investments well beyond retirement.

Read more...

Cerulli Finds All Talk, No Action Regarding DC Plan ESG Investment Adoption

2019-03-13

Plan Sponsor: According to the Cerulli Edge, U.S. Retirement Edition for 1Q 2019, more than half (56%) of the 1,000 active 401(k) plan participants it surveyed agree with the statement, “I prefer to invest in companies that are environmentally and socially responsible.

Read more...

Church Investors to Take Hardline Stance on Executive Pay, Climate Change

2019-03-04

IPE: UK church investors have tightened their voting policy on key corporate governance issues ahead of the annual general meetings (AGMs) of some of the country’s largest listed companies.

Read more...

KLP Banishes NAT in Bid to End Ship Scrapping on Asian Beaches

2019-03-15

IPE: The Norwegian pension fund Kommunal Landspensjonskasse (KLP) excluded the Norwegian-led oil shipping company Nordic American Tankers (NAT) from its investments in January in a bid to help prevent the controversial practice of scrapping ships on beaches in Asia.

Read more... 

BNP Paribas AM Purges Portfolios with Coal-exclusion Policy

2019-03-14

Citywire: Under the coal-exclusion policy, the French group will divest from the single largest source of carbon emissions, avoiding companies that derive more than 10% of their revenue from mining thermal coal.

Read more...

Goldman Sachs to Add Hundreds of Women to the Trading Floor

2019-03-11

Financial News: Goldman Sachs is offering hundreds of new female recruits a one-year trial on its trading floors in an attempt to shake up its male-dominated workforce.

Read more...

Nordea AM Launches Gender Diversity Fund

2019-03-07

Citywire Selector: The Nordea 1 – Global Gender Diversity Fund will capitalise on research that demonstrates better equity market returns demonstrated by companies at the forefront of gender diversity.

Read more... 

Spotlight on Investors: Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraités

Founded in 2001, the Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraités (FRR) is a French public administrative establishment responsible for investing assets entrusted by public authorities to finance the pension system. As of December 29, 2017, FRR had €36.4 billion of assets under management.

The Reserve Fund's responsible investing approach rests on four principles: incorporating ESG factors into asset management, managing social responsibility with regard to the UN Global Compact, exercising their voting rights, and contributing to research and supporting international initiatives such as the Carbon Disclosure Project and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. As a public entity, the organization abides by the Ottawa and Oslo Conventions ratified by France, and excludes controversial weapon manufacturers. Further, to successfully manage carbon risk, FRR has been calculating the carbon intensity of their equity and bond portfolios since 2013.

Annual Report 2017

Responsible Investment Strategy 2013 - 2017

As Climate Change Causes a Maelstrom of Financial Risks and Opportunities, is Your Money Manager Prepared to...

2019-03-03

Ceres: Unprecedented floods, storms and wildfires have ravaged communities across the United States in the past two years and sapped the economic vitality of regions. Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria while southeast Texas is struggling to recover from Hurricane Harvey, and communities in California are still reeling from deadly wildfires. The U.S. federal government’s most recent National Climate Assessment predicts more climate-fueled weather disasters will come - and more frequently - exacting a heavy toll on the economy. 

Read more...

EU Sets Out Plan for Investor Sustainability Disclosure Rules

2019-03-07

IPE: The European Parliament and EU member states have reached a political agreement on the so-called disclosure regulation that forms part of the European Commission’s sustainable finance plan, it was announced today.

Read more...

ESG: Bridging the Impact Data Gap

2019-03

IPE: For various reasons, over the past few years, more and more mainstream institutional investors and other groups have become explicitly concerned with the environmental and social impacts of investments. This is distinct from, but does not replace, thinking about how environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors can affect an investment portfolio’s financial performance.

Read more...

ESG Loans Broaden Access to Sustainability-linked Financing

2019-03-06

GreenBiz: Like green bonds, these corporate loans tie capital to improvements in sustainability, but unlike their older, better-known cousin, ESG-linked loans don’t require a borrower to use the proceeds for a specific, predetermined purpose. 

Read more...

Why Diversity is Important at CalSTRS

2019-03-08

Top 1000 Funds: The $214 billion fund for California teachers has been a leader on D&I in the investment industry, demonstrated through gender parity in its investment team and the publishing of an annual report on diversity for the past 10 years.

Read more...

Global Inflows into ESG ETFs Steady in January

2019-02-27

Advisor's Edge: Global inflows into environmental, social and governance (ESG) ETFs are steady month over month, with US$730 million making their way into these investments in January, according to London-based research firm ETFGI.

Read more... 

Asia is Opening up to New Types of ESG Products

2019-03-06 

Citywire: At the end of 2018, the Asia Pacific ex-Japan market had only 22 ESG ETFs and ETPs, data from consulting firm ETFGI showed. The assets under management for these products, however, hit $686 million by end-December, jumping 43% year-on-year.

Read more...

BlackRock Launches ESG Bond Index

2019-03-07

Investor Daily: The fund developed in a partnership with VicSuper aims to provide investors with diversified access to the local fixed income market with enhanced social outcomes.

It excludes tobacco, alcohol, gambling, military weapons, civilian firearms, nuclear power, adult entertainment, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and fossil fuel reserves.

Read more...

Columbia Threadneedle Investments Enhances Its Fundamental Research with Proprietary Responsible Investment Ratings

2019-03-05

Business Wire: Columbia Threadneedle Investments is adding to its extensive fundamental research effort by launching an innovative responsible investment (RI) ratings tool that combines an assessment of a company’s financial stewardship with a view on how well it manages its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks.

Read more... 

Spotlight on Investors: The Government Pension Fund of Norway

The Government Pension Fund of Norway, often referred to as the Norwegian oil fund, was founded in 1990. It is one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world with over US$ 980 billion of assets, as of December 2018. Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) is responsible for the management of the fund. The firm seeks to safeguard the long-term financial interests of future generations by investing responsibly in equities, fixed income, and real estate.

NBIM's investing approach is based on three core pillars: setting standards of principles and expectations to help improve corporate governance, exercising their ownership rights, and monitoring and managing the ESG risks of their investments. The firm sets high expectations for portfolio companies on topics related to the UN SDGs such as children's rights, climate change, water management and others. Finally, the Sovereign Wealth Fund has a publicly available company exclusion list based on recommendations from the Council on Ethics appointed by the Ministry of Finance.

Responsible Investment Report 2018

Council on Ethics Annual Report 2017

Company Exclusion List

American Sustainable Funds Outperform the Market

2019-03-01

Economist: Sustainable investing, once a niche area of interest, has moved into the mainstream. Earlier this month a survey showed that 75% of American asset managers say their firms offer sustainable-investing strategies, which focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Almost 90% of fund managers think it is no longer just a fad. Young investors are driving the surge in interest: more than three-quarters of high-net-worth millennial and Generation Z investors have their assets reviewed for ESG impact.

Read more...

Long Term Matters: BlackRock – Time to Pull Your Finger Out!

2019-03

IPE: Donald Trump is not the only US leader to ignore the climate emergency. BlackRock’s 2019 letter to companies, timed to coincide with Davos, is not quite the State of Union address but it was equally silent on the crisis. 

Read more...

Moody's Outlines the Top 5 Material Social Credit Risks Companies Face

2019-02-21

S&P Global: Private sector companies and other non-governmental entities can face several material credit risks associated with an entity's social license to operate, Moody's Investors Service said in a Feb. 20 research note.

Read more...

Hedge Fund Industry is Still Mostly Men, New Data Shows

2019-02-28

New York Post: Less than one in five hedge fund professionals are women, according to a report released by Preqin on Thursday. And the number drops to just 11 percent when it comes to the senior ranks, Preqin said.

Read more...

Survey Shows Half of Women in Private Equity Would Consider Leaving Industry

2019-02-25

WSJ: Half of the women in private equity would consider leaving the industry, according to a new survey that showed rising dissatisfaction despite buyout firms’ efforts to become more diverse.

Read more...

AP1 Invests in Swedish SDG-aligned Private Equity Fund

2019-03-04

IPE: Swedish private equity firm Summa Equity, the fund’s manager, said it had closed its second fund with investor commitments worth SEK6.5bn.

Read more... 

Interview: Independent Adviser Warns ESG is ‘Overwhelming’ Swiss Funds

2019-02-26

IPE: The surge in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) themed products and green indices is “overwhelming many Swiss Pensionskassen”, according to a leading independent adviser.

Read more...

European Funds Comment: Responsible Investment: An Opportunity for Private Equity

2019-02-08

Debevoise & Plimpton: Regulation is only one of the drivers for that change, but it is an increasingly significant one, and two recent developments are characteristic of the changing regulatory landscape. They also highlight an opportunity for private equity fund managers – many of whom are already focused on ESG (“environmental, social and governance”) considerations when making and managing portfolio investments.

Read more...

JP Morgan Hires ESG Head from BlackRock

2019-02-25

Citywire: JP Morgan Asset Management has hired Jennifer Wu to the newly created role of global head of sustainable investing.

Wu joins JP Morgan from BlackRock, where she was a member of its sustainable investing team. 

Read more... 

About Castle Hall Diligence

Castle Hall helps investors build comprehensive due diligence programs across hedge fund, private equity and long only portfolios More →

Subscribe to ESG Updates