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 [...]

30 05, 2019

New disclosure rules adding to pressures on U.K. plan trustees

2019-05-30T14:21:35-07:00May 30th, 2019|Categories: ESG|Tags: , |

Outsourcing could see an uptick in the U.K. as pension trustees grapple with even more scrutiny as a result of new and upcoming regulations. The job of a U.K. trustee has become much more complex in recent years because of an increase in governance risk and time spent on decision-making processes as well as a growing need for technical knowledge, which trustees, who are elected from the workforce, typically don't have. But that burden is set to increase again, [...]

4 12, 2018

Companies must address ESG issues to be deemed trustworthy by investors

2018-12-04T16:32:16-08:00December 4th, 2018|Categories: ESG|

Most institutional investors demand public companies address environmental, social and governance issues to be regarded as trustworthy, said a survey released by Edelman. Results of the second annual Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Institutional Investors show that 89% of investors have changed their voting and/or engagement policy to be more attentive to ESG practices, with 63% reporting that this change has taken place in the past year. "It's plain as day that ESG is a major criteria for investors," [...]

6 09, 2018

ESG Investing: A Blue Ocean For Corporate Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans

2018-09-06T15:44:19-07:00September 6th, 2018|Categories: ESG|Tags: |

The Retirement Market: An Ocean Of Opportunity The executive order on retirement savings, which President Trump signed on Friday, shines a spotlight on corporate-sponsored retirement plans.  The $28.0 trillion U.S. retirement market offers opportunities for growth in environmental, social and governance (ESG) assets under management (AUM), particularly among corporate-sponsored retirement plans. 60% of corporate plan sponsors that participated in a recent NEPC survey indicated that they were not interested in incorporating ESG investing, which means considering ESG factors in both investment decisions and ownership policies and practices. Of plan [...]

4 09, 2018

More institutional investors putting money on ESG

2018-09-04T16:44:09-07:00September 4th, 2018|Categories: ESG|

ESG investing is growing in the U.S. among institutional investors, with issues such as climate change, gender diversity and weapons distribution garnering significant attention. Institutional assets invested under environmental, social and governance principles in the U.S. totaled $4.73 trillion at the start of 2016, a 16.9% increase from 2014, according to the U.S. SIF Foundation, Washington, which surveys investors every two years. While results from the foundation's 2018 survey won't be available until November, a more recent Callan LLC survey found [...]

20 04, 2017

‘Hipsters of Portland’ inspire new investment fund

2017-04-20T00:11:41-07:00April 20th, 2017|Categories: ESG|Tags: |

A New York City wealth management firm has launched a new investment product inspired by the “socially conscious hipsters of Portland,” according to a news release. Ritholtz Wealth Management’s “Portland Portfolio” will focus on investments that tread lightly on the environment and meet strong social and corporate governance standards, a strategy often referred to as ESG (environmental, social, governance). […]

20 01, 2017

Labor Department Restates Fiduciary Voting, ESG Considerations

2017-01-20T19:04:12-08:00January 20th, 2017|Categories: ESG|Tags: |

Apparently concerned that its previous guidance on the matter of social investing hadn’t been sufficient to overcome fiduciary resistance, the Labor Department has issued new guidance on the matter. The guidance was broader than that, of course – the DOL’s “Interpretive Bulletin Relating to the Exercise of Shareholder Rights and Written Statements of Investment Policy, including Proxy Voting Policies or Guidelines” was intended to clarify the agency’s “longstanding position is that the fiduciary act of managing plan assets which [...]

20 01, 2017

New Guidance Restores 1994 ERISA Proxy Voting Interpretation

2017-01-20T18:54:39-08:00January 20th, 2017|Categories: ERISA, ESG|Tags: , |

The DOL bulletin also clarifies the ability to consider ESG factors in proxy voting and shareholder engagement. On December 29, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued Interpretive Bulletin 2016-1 (IB 2016-1), addressing how the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s (ERISA’s) fiduciary responsibility rules apply to proxy voting, maintenance and compliance with investment policy statements, and active engagement with corporate management by plan fiduciaries, as well as other legal rights of shareholders. […]

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