30 11, 2022

Trump Loses His Clutch on Your 401(k) in Department of Labor Ruling

2022-11-30T16:24:08-08:00November 30th, 2022|Categories: 401(k), ESG|Tags: , |

By Eric Reed Source: Yahoo! Finance The new rule is written broadly, which means that it may let employers explore several different categories of investing. But it specifically aims to create more opportunities for ESG, or "Environmental, Social and Governance," investing. Otherwise known as impact investing, these are portfolios that invest around specific social and political goals. For example, a portfolio may explicitly choose not to invest in fossil fuels and dirty industries, or it may proactively invest in [...]

17 11, 2022

CalPERS CEO pushes back against politicization of ESG investing

2022-11-17T14:33:59-08:00November 17th, 2022|Categories: ESG|Tags: , , , |

By Arleen Jacobius Source: Pensions & Investments CalPERS CEO Marcie Frost decried the politicization of environmental, governance and social investing at Wednesday's board meeting and highlighted the benefits of the $443.2 billion pension plan's ESG approach. "In some cases, the (midterm election) campaign rhetoric not only dismissed the danger of climate change, it went so far as to mischaracterize a strategy we believe in strongly: examining the risk factors of the environment, of social inequality, and of good governance," [...]

2 11, 2022

Statewide races spotlight pension investments and debate about ESG

2022-11-02T15:46:49-07:00November 2nd, 2022|Categories: ESG|Tags: , |

By Courtney Degen Source: Pensions & Investments In several statewide races in the midterm elections, the outcome could have a significant impact on state pension plans. Environmental, social and governance investing has become a key issue for many races, as Republican officials across the country have recently labeled the movement as "woke" and too political. Democrats, on the other hand, are encouraging investment policies that consider climate change, gender equality and corporate governance. Read the full article

6 09, 2022

Public Funds Are Among Strongest Backers of ESG Resolutions

2022-09-06T16:46:04-07:00September 6th, 2022|Categories: ESG|Tags: , |

Source: AI-CIO.com Public pension funds strongly support environmental, social and governance shareholder resolutions, Morningstar data show. According to a Morningstar research report released this month, public pension funds’ average rate of support for ESG resolutions was 90% in 2021, compared with 85% of ESG-focused funds and 63% of general shareholders. “Basically, public pension funds’ voting behavior looks very similar to mutual funds and [exchange-traded funds] that focus on ESG issues,” says Janet Yang Rohr, director for multi-asset and alternatives [...]

4 08, 2022

Protecting Pensions and ESG Risks

2022-08-04T16:25:39-07:00August 4th, 2022|Categories: ESG|Tags: , |

By Tim Hennessey Source: IFEBP As the global impact of climate change grows, environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors have become a core consideration for pension funds. ESG issues and concerns can no longer be relegated to debates among pension fiduciaries about values investing or investment returns and instead require a holistic approach, author Janis Sarra noted in her article “Protecting Pensions Through Effective Governance of Climate and ESG Risks” in the July/August issue of Plans & Trusts. Sarra, [...]

27 07, 2022

U.K. pushes pension trustees to focus on the ‘S’ in ESG, with help

2022-07-27T11:31:00-07:00July 27th, 2022|Categories: ESG|Tags: , |

By Hazel Bradford Source: Pensions & Investments The U.K. government wants to make sure that pension fund trustees are giving enough attention to social factors that could have financial implications, and is setting up a task force to help. "The 'S' of ESG is one area in which the risk management of pension schemes can be strengthened," said Pensions Minister Guy Opperman, the longest serving parliamentary undersecretary of state for pensions and financial inclusion, in a statement on the [...]

25 05, 2022

SEC proposes additional ESG disclosures for investment advisers, funds

2022-05-25T12:50:39-07:00May 25th, 2022|Categories: ESG|Tags: , |

By Brian Croce Source: Pensions & Investments The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday approved a rule proposal that would require investment advisers and fund managers to disclose additional information on ESG strategies in fund prospectuses, annual reports and adviser brochures. In a 3-1 vote, with the commission's lone Republican, Hester M. Peirce, dissenting, the SEC proposed amendments to rules and disclosure forms that aim to promote consistent, comparable and reliable information for investors concerning funds' and advisers' incorporation [...]

1 02, 2022

Institutions widely support DOL’s proposed ESG rule

2022-02-01T08:22:02-08:00February 1st, 2022|Categories: ESG|Tags: , |

By Brian Croce Source: Pensions & Investments A majority of institutions support a proposed rule from the Department of Labor that would explicitly permit retirement plan fiduciaries to consider climate change and other environmental, social and governance factors when selecting investments and exercising shareholder rights, according to a new report examining comment letters. The report, published Tuesday by the Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets, US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment and Environmental Defense Fund, found [...]

11 11, 2021

ESG becoming even greater focus for money managers, survey finds

2021-11-11T08:33:23-08:00November 11th, 2021|Categories: ESG|Tags: , |

By Rob Kozlowski Source: Pensions & Investments Global asset managers are expanding investment resources dedicated to ESG, and increasing numbers of firms are adding more ESG metrics to their investment processes, according to Russell Investments' seventh annual ESG survey. The latest survey of 369 asset managers representing $79.6 trillion in assets under management shows 82% of managers explicitly incorporate qualitative or quantitative ESG factor assessments into their investment processes, compared with 78% in last year's survey. The most growth [...]

29 10, 2021

Vast majority of investors consider ESG important

2021-10-29T16:54:40-07:00October 29th, 2021|Categories: ESG|Tags: |

By Hazel Bradford Source: Pensions & Investments Investors are increasingly factoring ESG into their investment decisions, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey released Thursday. The PwC 2021 Global Investor ESG Survey found that 80% of those surveyed considered ESG an important factor. Nearly 70% thought it should be factored into executive compensation, with 59% saying that a company's lack of action on ESG issues would make them likely to vote against pay packages, and one-third already taking that action. For [...]

19 10, 2021

Expert panel: Climate change putting spotlight on ESG issues for pension plans

2021-10-19T15:10:13-07:00October 19th, 2021|Categories: ESG|Tags: , , |

By Susan G. Seller Source: Benefits Canada The images of floods, forest fires and heat waves over the past few years is putting climate change front of mind for many, including pension plan sponsors and administrators. It’s become increasingly clear that environmental, social and governance factors are emerging as an important area of concern for pension plan administrators and, by extension, the boards and pension committees that exercise oversight over the investment of the assets of employer-sponsored pension plans. [...]

7 10, 2021

ESG factors becoming a focus for real estate investors

2021-10-07T09:18:15-07:00October 7th, 2021|Categories: ESG|Tags: |

By Arleen Jacobius Source: Pensions & Investments While ESG factors play an important role in real estate managers' investment decisions, asset owners also are asking managers to look inward at their own firms' diversity and inclusion efforts. Gender and ethnic diversity is becoming a big issue for real estate managers, driven by some of the largest asset owners that do not think management firms are diverse enough and are calling on them for change, said Josh Herrenkohl, New York-based [...]

18 06, 2021

House passes ESG disclosure bill

2021-06-18T13:58:44-07:00June 18th, 2021|Categories: ESG|Tags: |

By Hazel Bradford Source: Pensions & Investments Legislation requiring public companies to disclose ESG metrics was narrowly approved by the House Wednesday. The proposed Corporate Governance Improvement and Investor Protection Act received no Republican support, leaving its prospects uncertain as it advances to the Senate for consideration. The White House supports the measure, saying in a policy statement that the legislation would make "important changes to the manner in which publicly traded companies account for and disclose certain activities [...]

27 05, 2021

Pandemic pushes firms to up allocations to social investments – research

2021-05-27T16:38:06-07:00May 27th, 2021|Categories: ESG|Tags: , |

By Sophie Baker Source: Pensions & Investments The social factor within ESG will be of increasing importance to global pension funds over the next three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with passive allocations set to rise. Research by DWS and CREATE-Research found that 66% of pension funds intend to increase allocations to the 'S' pillar through passive allocations over the coming years. Two-thirds (67%) said they will choose their passive managers based on a track record of achieving [...]

21 05, 2021

Bill seeks to clarify ESG responsibilities under ERISA

2021-05-21T09:39:14-07:00May 21st, 2021|Categories: ESG|Tags: |

By Brian Croce Source: Pensions & Investments Democrats in the Senate and House introduced a bill Thursday that would amend ERISA to make clear that retirement plans may consider ESG factors in their investment decisions and that ESG investments are permitted as qualified default investment alternatives in ERISA-covered plans. Under the bill — the Financial Factors in Selecting Retirement Plan Investment Act, sponsored by Sens. Tina Smith, D-Minn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash. — plans [...]

25 01, 2021

ESG influencing company strategy, increasing oil market vulnerability

2021-01-25T12:33:46-08:00January 25th, 2021|Categories: ESG|Tags: |

Environmental, social and governance factors are continuing to influence company strategy, financing and operating environments in 2021, according to a new report by Fitch Ratings Inc. It found financial institutions will likely continue to enhance ESG due diligence and exclusionary policies to cover a broader set of ESG issues and entities, as the quality and quantity of ESG data is improved by increasing reporting requirements and harmonization of standards. In addition, a growing interest in sustainability is sparking debate [...]

21 01, 2021

Biden team to review Labor Department ESG rule

2021-01-21T13:53:40-08:00January 21st, 2021|Categories: ESG|Tags: , , |

The Biden administration will review a recent Department of Labor rule stipulating that ERISA plan fiduciaries cannot invest in "non-pecuniary" vehicles that sacrifice investment returns or take on additional risk. In his first few hours in office Wednesday, President Joe Biden signed a flurry of executive orders, including one titled "Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis." In the order, Mr. Biden directed all executive departments and agencies "to immediately review and, [...]

19 12, 2020

Two Pro-ESG Investing Bills Introduced in House

2020-12-19T08:40:38-08:00December 19th, 2020|Categories: ESG|Tags: , , , |

Several high-profile Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced bills aimed at promoting the acceptance and use of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments by individuals and institutions. The lawmakers are Representatives Andy Levin, D-Michigan, vice chair of the House Education and Labor Committee and member of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions (HELP); Brendan Boyle, D-Pennsylvania, member of the House Ways and Means Committee; and Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, member of the House Financial Services [...]

2 12, 2020

Taking Stock: Will The New DOL Rule Curb ESG Momentum?

2020-12-02T11:28:09-08:00December 2nd, 2020|Categories: ESG|Tags: , |

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) softened its stance from an earlier proposal on ERISA plans incorporating investments using environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. In a final ruling published days before the U.S. presidential election, the DOL emphasized the importance of using only pecuniary factors—financial considerations that have a material effect on risk and/or return—in analyzing investments, but the final ruling fell short of singling out ESG investments. In fact, the term “ESG” is noticeably absent from the [...]

5 11, 2020

DOL, Dubious About ESG Pension Investing, Cuts It a Bit of Slack in Final Rule

2020-11-05T15:48:37-08:00November 5th, 2020|Categories: ESG|Tags: , |

The Department of Labor (DOL) on Friday eased its stance a small amount against environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing, but it remained determined in its declaration in a final rule that Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) plan fiduciaries must make investment decisions that won’t sacrifice returns. In June, the DOL proposed a rule that determined employer-sponsored plans have a sole fiduciary duty to beneficiaries, not to social causes advanced through ESG investing. The proposal proved to be [...]

30 10, 2020

DOL walks back ESG language in final rule

2020-10-30T14:09:10-07:00October 30th, 2020|Categories: ESG|Tags: , |

The Department of Labor unveiled a final rule Friday stipulating that ERISA plan fiduciaries cannot invest in “non-pecuniary” vehicles that sacrifice investment returns or take on additional risk, though the final rule focused less on ESG than the proposal on which it was based. The rule was proposed in June and drew harsh criticism from the retirement community, including claims that the Labor Department did not sufficiently justify its reasoning behind the proposal and concerns that the proposal would [...]

11 08, 2020

Industry sounds off against DOL proposal on ESG

2020-08-11T09:39:33-07:00August 11th, 2020|Categories: ESG|Tags: , |

A Department of Labor proposal that would likely curb environmental, social and governance investments in ERISA plans has drawn sharp criticism from the retirement community. In a 30-day comment period that concluded July 30, stakeholders roundly admonished the Labor Department's proposal to add regulatory text that makes clear that ERISA requires plan fiduciaries in both private defined benefit and defined contribution plans to select investments "based on financial considerations relevant to the risk-adjusted economic value of a particular investment [...]

11 08, 2020

COVID-19 pushes social issues to ESG forefront

2020-08-11T09:37:28-07:00August 11th, 2020|Categories: ESG|Tags: , |

One of the many upheavals caused by the COVID-19 crisis has been some reordering of environmental, social and governance priorities for institutional investors. While climate change and other environmental issues "were almost synonymous with ESG, the pandemic forced us to shift, and forced owners of capital to think about the other letters in ESG," said Nathan S. Shetty, Chicago-based head of multiasset portfolio management for Nuveen LLC, the money management arm of TIAA-CREF. The global health crisis plus renewed [...]

26 06, 2020

DOL proposal could hurt prospects for ESG in ERISA plans

2020-06-26T14:53:25-07:00June 26th, 2020|Categories: ERISA, ESG|Tags: , , |

A proposal from the Department of Labor stipulates that ERISA plan fiduciaries cannot invest in ESG vehicles that sacrifice investment returns or take on additional risk, which sources say could curb environmental, social and governance investments. "Private employer-sponsored retirement plans are not vehicles for furthering social goals or policy objectives that are not in the financial interest of the plan," Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said in a news release. "Rather, ERISA plans should be managed with unwavering focus on [...]

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