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Industry News: ESG5

Spotlight on Investors: Strathclyde Pension Fund

Founded in 1974, Strathclyde Pension Fund has been managed by the Glasgow City Council since 1996. With £20.8 billion of assets under management and over 230,000 members as at March 31st 2018, it is the second largest UK LGPS fund.   

Most of the Fund's investment analysis and decision-making is outsourced to external investment managers. In accordance to the Responsible Investment policy, external managers are expected to consider ESG risks and opportunities and to engage regularly with portfolio companies on ESG issues. Strathclyde also engages collaboratively with peers through initiatives such as FAIRR and ShareAction. Additionally, the fund manages a Direct Investment Portfolio internally with a focus on positive environmental and social impact which invests in Infrastructure, Renewable Energy, and Regional lending to small companies.

Annual Report & Financial Statements

Investing Responsibly

The Biggest Plus of ESG? Optics.

2019-05-06

Institutional Investor: Forget all those studies about whether ESG strategies have produced better or worse returns. For institutional investors, the main advantage of environmental, social, and governance-oriented investing is that it makes them look good.

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CFA UK to Launch New ESG Qualification

2019-05-14

Institutional Asset Manager: The Certificate will be the first formal qualification on ESG investing available sector-wide to investment professionals in the UK.

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BMO Sees More Companies Embracing ESG Issues

2019-05-13

Pensions & Investments: 2018 was a pivotal year for engaging with companies on environmental, social and governance issues, BMO Global Asset Management reported Monday in its Responsible Investment Annual Review.

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Canada's Venture Capitalists: A Gender Gap

2019-05-13

All About Alpha: Female Funders, a program within the venture capital company Highline BETA, with offices in both Canada and the United States, has produced a new Women in Venture report, which works with data gathered from more than 300 VC firms and corporate venture arms in both countries “to try to paint a clearer picture of the state of gender in venture capital.”

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AIIB prices debut global bond

2019-05-10

The Asset: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) priced its first global bond on May 10. The five-year bond raised US$2.5 billion and will drive AIIB’s priorities in investing in sustainable infrastructure, developing cross-border connectivity, and promoting environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing in emerging Asia.
 

Momentum in ESG in Asia

2019-05-09

Top 1000 Funds: The big question for the big institutional investors is whether Asia, considered the growth engine for the world, can catch up with the ESG movement that is sweeping throughout developed economies.

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Blackstone Hires Goldman Alum for New Social Good Initiative

2019-05-06

Bloomberg: Blackstone Group LP hired Tanya Barnes, a former managing director at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., to lead a new impact investing strategy, as pension plans and other institutions seek to put money into more businesses with social and environmental benefits.

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Legal Framework: The Lay of the Law

2019-05

IPE: More than a decade ago, the law firm Freshfields published a landmark report on the relationship between fiduciary duty and the integration of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) considerations in investment policy.

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AP1 - A Circular Focus

2019-05

IPE: Swedish institutional investors have been frontrunners in sustainable and environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments, not least the country’s buffer funds, the AP funds. 

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Spotlight on Investors: Brunel Pension Partnership

Brunel Pension Partnership (Brunel) is one of eight national Local Government Pension Scheme Pools bringing together 10 public sector pension funds including the Environment Agency Pension Fund. It manages £30 billion of assets on behalf of nearly 700,000 LGPS members.

Brunel aims to deliver long-term returns and protect its clients' interests. As such, the organization believes responsible investment is central to how it fulfills its fiduciary duty. Its approach seeks to implement ESG into the investment process for all asset classes and into the Manager Selection process. Furthermore, Brunel actively engages portfolio companies through collaborative initiatives such as Climate Action 100+ and the Transition Pathway Initiative. Finally, the Fund has integrated the TCFD recommendations into its governance, strategy and risk management to improve its management of climate-related risk.

Responsible Investment Policy Statement

Addressing Climate Change Position Statement

Hedge Funds Drag Their Feet When It Comes to ESG

2019-05-08

Institutional Investor: Few hedge funds are investing based on environmental, social, and governance factors — but AQR just released a framework for the strategy.

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Super Funds Shirking Social Issues are Breaking Law: AusSuper Chief

2019-05-08

The Sydney Morning HeraldSuperannuation funds failing to consider environmental, social and corporate governance risks when investing their members' retirement savings are in breach of their duties and therefore the law, says the head of Australia's biggest industry super fund.

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Hong Kong Government signs Green Bond Pledge

2019-05-07

Institutional Asset Managers: The HKSAR Government is joining the US State Treasurers of California, New Mexico and Rhode Island, the Cities of Asheville and San Francisco, King County, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Government of Mexico City, Australian pension fund LGS, South Africa’s FedGroup and Luxembourg Green Exchange in the list of issuer and supporter signatories.

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KKR Partners With Harlem Capital to Enhance Diversity

2019-05-07

The Wall Street Journal: One of the private-equity industry’s biggest buyout firms has partnered with a fledgling venture firm to help it access a more diverse talent pool, in terms of both race and gender.

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Urgency Needed in Infrastructure

2019-05-07

Top 1000 FundsIn emerging markets around $2.7 trillion a year is needed in infrastructure investment, he told the Milken Global Conference in April.

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ESMA: ‘We Need to be More Nuanced About Sustainability’

2019-05-03

IPE: The EU financial markets watchdog has thrown its weight behind stewardship as a means by which investors can help bring about the transition towards a sustainable economy.

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How Portfolio Companies Build Gender Diversity

2019-05-03

Private Equity News: Private equity firms have long had the reputation of being a “boys’ club” and often that reputation extends to the management teams and boards of their portfolio companies.

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Alignment: Mind the Gap

2019-05

IPEThe mission of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is to help improve economic development, and delivering the sustainable development goals (SDGs) is part of that.

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Public Markets: Hard to Pin Down

2019-05

IPE: Impact investing in public markets has become a hot topic of conversations but identifying companies that can address the world’s most formidable challenges and deliver financial returns is a time-consuming and resource-intensive process. 

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Spotlight on Investors: Railpen

RPMI Railpen (Railpen) is responsible for managing and investing the Railways Pension Scheme, which includes 350,000 members from over 150 companies operating within the privatized railway industry in the United Kingdom. As at December 31st, 2017, the Scheme had over US$ 35 billion of assets under management.

Railpen integrates sustainability issues into their investment process. As such, the Pension Fund seeks to improve risk-adjusted returns while impacting the world their beneficiaries retire into by considering ESG factors in their directly managed portfolio and their external manager portfolio. Furthermore, the organization excludes companies on grounds of climate and cluster munitions from their Equities and Fixed Income portfolios. Their approach to responsible investing also includes active ownership through proxy voting and collaborative engagements with the 30% Club and the Workforce Disclosure Initiative.
 

Sustainable Ownership Report 2018

Climate Changes as Firms Heed Investors on Social Issues

2019-05-01

The Wall Street Journal: The largest U.S. companies are beginning to pay heed to the demands of investors focused on environmental and social issues, a shift for shareholders long relegated to the sidelines.

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Japan’s Governance Conundrum

2019-04-29

Top 1000 FundsIn 2013, Nicholas Benes persuaded key legislators that in order for Japan’s (then-proposed) “Stewardship Code” to have a positive impact, Japan needed to also put in place a corporate governance code that would require detailed disclosure of governance practices at each company.

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European Investors Launch Project to Support Alignment of Portfolios to the Paris Agreement

2019-05-02

IIGCC: Many pension funds and asset owners recognize climate change as one of the largest systemic risks in their investment portfolios.

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CalSTRS Tackles Opioid Crisis

2019-04-29

Chief Investment Officer: The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) is taking a role in engaging corporate boards and management of opioid manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacy retail chains it owns in its $115.5 billion global equity portfolio, shows a new pension system report.

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New York State Pension CIO Opposes Fossil Fuels Divestment Bill

2019-04-30

Institutional Investor: New York State Common Retirement Fund’s interim chief investment officer is against the state’s proposed bill that would require it to divest from fossil fuels.

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Serious About Sustainability? Some Progress, But Not Yet Persuaded by BlackRock's Efforts

2019-04-22

World Resources Institute: With nearly $6 trillion in assets under management, BlackRock is the largest asset management firm and one of the most powerful investors in the world. 

Oil Companies not Attractive Without Climate Commitment, say Managers

2019-04-29

IPE: Oil companies will not remain attractive investments unless they adopt business models supporting the Paris climate targets, according to a survey of fund managers.

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Short Selling Doesn’t Break ESG Rules, says Alts Trade Body

2019-05-01

Citywire SelectorThe Alternative Investment Management Association has published a primer document for hedge funds to help investors adopt greater levels of responsible investment into their processes.

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Impact Forestry Funds Eye 8% Returns, says GIIN Report

2019-04-29

The Asset ESG Forum: The forestry sector presents a strong opportunity for impact investors, driven by the potential of higher valuations and further ESG integration.

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