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 [...]

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 [...]

9 04, 2020

Virus Exposes Gig Economy ‘Exploitation’ ESG Investors Ignored

2020-04-09T10:16:41-07:00April 9th, 2020|Categories: Economy|Tags: , , |

ESG investors need to up their game in holding companies to account on social issues such as labor rights and employment contracts, said the head of biggest network of responsible investment firms. Fiona Reynolds, chief executive officer of the Principles for Responsible Investment, said in a blog post Friday that firms which consider environmental, social and governance issues when investing have paid too little attention to “the modern forms of exploitation surrounding the gig economy.” Lack of paid sick [...]

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 [...]

20 01, 2017

ESG Investing Momentum Grew in 2016

2017-01-20T18:49:23-08:00January 20th, 2017|Categories: ESG|Tags: |

Following regulatory changes enacted late last year, 2016 saw an increased interest in investments chosen with environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations. ESG investing assets climbed to $8.72 trillion in the United States, according to a recent report by U.S. SIF, the research and advocacy organization supporting ESG and sustainable and responsible investing (SRI). This hike marked a 33% increase from 2014. Today, ESG components extend far beyond a company’s environmental footprint to include its record on labor standards, human [...]

16 02, 2016

Global pension funds prioritizing governance, risk management

2016-02-16T22:32:25-08:00February 16th, 2016|Categories: Corporate Governance|Tags: |

Global pension fund executives over the next three years will be upgrading their governance structures and board education, increasing internal staff overseeing risk and investments, and adding to investments in ESG, hedge funds of funds and real estate, said a State Street Corp. (STT) survey. A report on the survey, “Pensions with Purpose: Meeting the Retirement Challenge,” said 92% of defined benefit and defined contribution plans, both corporate and public, expect to upgrade their governance models, and 45% will increase training [...]

23 07, 2014

ESG factors gaining global exposure

2014-07-23T16:40:07-07:00July 23rd, 2014|Categories: Sustainable Investing|Tags: , , |

Institutional investors across the globe are becoming more aware of the environmental, social and governance effects both of, and on, their investment choices. What is also clear is there is no one-size-fits-all response to addressing this awareness, and some executives say the theory is not necessarily translating into practice. “We are seeing some asset owners think very clearly about what they invest in, particularly endowments and foundations and religious organizations, as these tend to be more mindful of the [...]

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