ESG: Asset managers vary in enthusiasm

Author: Jimmie Franklin | Published: 24 Oct 2019

There is little consistency in how asset managers are approaching the trend towards ESG (environmental, social and governance).

"There is still a huge amount of confusion and uncertainty as to how ESG is and should be managed," said Selina Sagayam, partner at Gibson Dunn.

These thoughts were echoed by her colleague, Amy Kennedy.

"There is huge divergence in the asset management sector, which can also be seen between banks," she said. "They are of course here to make money, which can create a conflict when it comes to an increased ESG focus."

Global sustainable investment assets were found to be worth $30 trillion in 2018. The market has grown continuously: in the past 20 years, the number of asset managers offering ESG strategies has grown by more than 400%.

"Regulation is still developing, and there is a huge divergence in terms of approach being taken by investors and asset managers,"...