Browsing: ESG

ESG

From SRI to Shariah: A Bridge Not too Far

Dec 24th, 2019 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

Usman Hayat, for the CFA Institute has written a provocative paper about the relationship between socially responsible investing on the one hand and Islamic finance on the other. His bottom line is that “emerging trends may enable financial services to develop products that satisfy criteria of both approaches.” In anRead More


Ebenezer Scrooge: An Alternative View

Dec 23rd, 2019 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Manager Selection, Newly Added, What About Beta?, ESG, Hedge Funds

By Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association Ebenezer Scrooge was not exactly a cuddly CEO. The way he treated poor Bob Cratchit alone would not have exactly put Scrooge & Marley Ltd. in the top quartile of the Sustainalytics’ ESG Risk Ratings, as he routinely gutted any notion of social responsibility.Read More


Investment Management: Time for New Leaders and Exiting Comfort Zones

Dec 10th, 2019 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Private Equity, Manager Selection, Newly Added, Asset Allocation, ESG, Hedge Funds

Disruption is the trend of the moment in many industries and the investment world is no exception. Deloitte Insights has just posted an article that takes a comprehensive look at the investment world today, traditional and alternative. Its theme is that this world is in search of new leadership andRead More


Of Colossal Fools and Fossil Fuels

Oct 15th, 2019 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Newly Added, Asset Allocation, What About Beta?, ESG

By Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association The saying “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me” has its origins all the way back to the 1600’s when most of the carbon now in our atmosphere was “safely” encased in limestone and other rock formations within theRead More


Climate Change and Artificial Intelligence as Investment Mega-Trends

Sep 24th, 2019 | Filed under: Data Science & AI, Emerging Asset Classes, State of the Industry, Featured Post, Private Equity, Newly Added, Asset Allocation, ESG, Hedge Funds

A report from CREATE in collaboration with BNY Mellon looks at two related megatrends in investing—climate change and artificial intelligence. It asks in each case: how is this trend perceived in terms of opportunities and risks? What are the specific investment issues involved or solutions likely to be adopted? AndRead More


‘Greenwashing:’ Why the Glass is Half Full

Sep 19th, 2019 | Filed under: Emerging Asset Classes, State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG, Commodities & Natural Resources

The term “greenwashing” is not a compliment. It isn’t supposed to be a good thing. Greenwashing means the re-spraying of old products and services so that they seem to comply with standards for socially responsible investment. Many investors want to put their money to work in ways that reflect theirRead More


Boone Pickens, A Trailblazer, Passes On

Sep 17th, 2019 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG, Hedge Funds, Commodities & Natural Resources

T. Boone Pickens died quietly at home in Dallas, Texas on Sept. 11, 2019. In his long career Pickens did a good deal to give the current hedge fund industry, as well as the broader asset management industry and the energy commodities markets, their character, in a life that sometimesRead More


Can Sustainable Investing Sustain Itself in Japan?

Sep 15th, 2019 | Filed under: Emerging Asset Classes, State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

Advocates of sustainable investing in Japan are struggling, according to a new report co-authored by William Burchart and Jessica Ziegler of The Investment Integration Project (TIIP). Their research is based on a literature review and discussions with more than 50 industry experts. The paper was released Sept. 6 and isRead More


ESG: WHAT’S UNDER THE HOOD?

Jul 14th, 2019 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

By Nicolas Rabener of FactorResearch (@FactorResearch) ESG INVESTING – SIMPLE OR COMPLEX? Investing is complicated as it is simple and complex at the same time. Common advice for new investors is to pursue a buy-and-hold approach for long-term wealth creation. Although this strategy has worked out great in the U.S.Read More


The Environmental Road to the Future is Paved…in Green

Jul 1st, 2019 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

By Diane Harrison In January of this year, the World Economic Forum published an article, A Business Model for Sustainability, which highlighted a couple of key points relating to the growing interest in green business practices: Global finance is also inching toward sustainability. For example, environmental, social, and governance assetsRead More


How Hedge Funds Use Corporate Social Responsibility Considerations

May 30th, 2019 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG, Hedge Funds

A new study by Jun Duanmu and three colleagues examines hedge fund use of matters of corporate social responsibility. The authors work from an asset-weighted composite measure of CSR by fund, in order to seek the difference in financial performance of those hedge funds with high CSR investment and thoseRead More


The Two Faces of Investing in Renewables

May 27th, 2019 | Filed under: Emerging Asset Classes, State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, Asset Allocation, ESG, Hedge Funds, Commodities & Natural Resources

Renewable energy, however defined, is widely seen as a sustainable and socially responsible (and, if the investing is done right, very profitable) addition to one’s portfolio. Indeed, such entities as the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, an Ohio based research-and-analysis shop, exist to show that renewables are theRead More


Impact Investing: How Big is the Market?

Apr 28th, 2019 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

The Global Impact Investing Network recently issued a report on the size of the market for impact investing. The report explores how many investors want to invest how much of their money in ways that will do good for the planet and for the human social structures it hosts, asRead More


Earth to Kerth… It’s Our Day 

Apr 22nd, 2019 | Filed under: Emerging Asset Classes, State of the Industry, Newly Added, What About Beta?, ESG

By Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association The Urban Dictionary turned 20 years old last month. If staying power means anything, perhaps it is time to use it as a citable source for modern day lexicon of words like Kerth. It seems Kerth is a name for someone who connotes sweetness, politeness,Read More


Was 2014 a Turning Point for ESG Investing?

Mar 7th, 2019 | Filed under: Emerging Asset Classes, State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

Amundi, the French asset management firm that, less than a year ago, launched the world’s largest green bond and emerging markets-focused investment, has just posted a scholarly discussion, “How ESG Investing Has Impacted the Asset Pricing in the Equity Market.”  The paper begins by saying that academic study of ESG firmsRead More


Green Bonds: The Future of Infrastructure Investing

Feb 24th, 2019 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Infrastructure, Private Debt, Newly Added, ESG, Hedge Funds, Commodities & Natural Resources

Two scholars affiliated with the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo, Canada, have taken a look at the future of green bonds, that is, bonds whose proceeds are employed to fund environmental initiatives. The paper, by Olaf Weber and Vasundhara Saravade, begins with a guesstimate as to the amount ofRead More


Steps to Attain Sustainable Development Goals

Feb 19th, 2019 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

Amber Fairbanks, a portfolio manager at Mirova, a division of Natixis, recently talked to Clarice Avery, a Natixis investment strategist on Asset TV about potential long-term investment opportunity in the ESG space. She described ESG as a way in which investors can benefit from long-term secular trends rather than tryingRead More


How Public Pension Funds are Subsidizing Infrastructure

Jan 29th, 2019 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Infrastructure, Newly Added, Asset Allocation, ESG, Commodities & Natural Resources

Public pension funds in the United States invest in infrastructure. Unfortunately, they aren’t very good at it. A recent working paper of the NBER concludes, indeed, that public pensions are so bad at such investments that they—and thus either the public or its retirees or both—are unwittingly subsidizing infrastructure projects.Read More


Do the Capital Markets Reward Low-Carbon Business Models?

Jan 15th, 2019 | Filed under: Emerging Asset Classes, State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG, Commodities & Natural Resources

A new study by two scholars, an American and an Italian, presents evidence that financial markets are pricing the risk of reliance upon carbon, penalizing carbon-intensive assets and rewarding low-carbon assets. Irene Monasterolo and Luca de Angelis, respectively of Boston University and the University of Bologna, begin with the ParisRead More


10 Climate Change Actions for Pension Fund Managers

Oct 28th, 2018 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Manager Selection, Newly Added, ESG

The International Centre for Pension Management (ICPM) has put out a paper on climate change and on the difference it makes for investments. The issue of climate change has, in recent years, gone from “being considered a niche issue to one of potentially major financial consequences for all investors,” oneRead More


Crumbling infrastructure offers mid-market investment opportunities

Jun 3rd, 2018 | Filed under: Featured Post, Infrastructure, Newly Added, ESG, Commodities & Natural Resources

Deteriorating infrastructure and potential for investment is the topic of a new white paper by Fiera Capital, a Canadian investment management firm. Infrastructure is generally understood to involve physical assets that provide a public service, including those most vital to economic development. The category includes water and waste-water systems, highwaysRead More


Private Debt and Impact Investors

May 20th, 2018 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

A new study by the Symbiotics and GIIN research teams looks at private debt impact funds (PDIFs); that is, “independent investment vehicles that allocate on average more than 85% of their portfolios to private debt” and that look to the environmental and/or social impact their allocations will have.   The goalRead More


A Microfinance Fund for Central Java, Indonesia

May 13th, 2018 | Filed under: Emerging Asset Classes, State of the Industry, Access to Alternatives, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

Blossom Finance, an investment consultancy that describes its business model as “commercial financing with social benefits,” announced recently open enrollment for an Islamic microfinance fund designed to bolster micro-businesses and traditional market sellers in the province of Central Java, Indonesia. This will be a crypto-currency infused fund: participants can investRead More


Whence Corporate Social Responsibility?

Mar 4th, 2018 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Manager Selection, Newly Added, ESG, Risk Management

A new scholarly paper, forthcoming in the Journal of Financial Economics, delves into the question whether institutional investors are the driving force behind corporate social economy. I.J. Alexander Dyck and three other scholars looked specifically at the environmental and social performance of firms across 41 countries. They found that ownershipRead More


Institutional Investors Wary of Passivity

Mar 1st, 2018 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, Asset Allocation, ESG

Natixis’ Center for Investor Insight surveyed 500 institutional investors in the fall of 2017 about long-term objectives, short-term opportunities, and the concomitant pressures. In a new paper, Natixis discusses the Center’s take-a-ways from this survey Geopolitical events are the most worrisome prospect on the minds of the decision makers atRead More


Ceres Report Evaluates Value of Early-Stage Clean Energy

Feb 4th, 2018 | Filed under: Emerging Asset Classes, State of the Industry, Featured Post, Private Equity, Newly Added, ESG, Commodities & Natural Resources

A recent publication from Ceres, a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting sustainability as a goal in both investing and corporate governance, looks at the value that early-stage clean energy products offer venture capitalists. The publication is the work of a team of five “lead authors and key contributors,” including threeRead More


Principles, ESG, and Credit Risk

Jan 11th, 2018 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

The UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), an initiative working to put into practice six principles on the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects of investment decisions, in partnership with the UNEP Finance Initiative and the UN Global Compact, has issued a paper on the credit ratings agencies and theirRead More


Women on Boards: Different Markets, Different Trends

Jan 4th, 2018 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

The latest MSCI “Women on Boards Progress Report” notes that the advancement of women onto corporate boards and into the corporate suites of corporations with global reach has been slow. Until recently, MSCI had anticipated that 30% of the company board seats on the MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI)Read More


The Performance of Impact Investments

Dec 26th, 2017 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

The Global Impact Investing Network has offered its own take on a much discussed question: do “impact investing” and its variants under various names – sustainable investing, socially conscious investing, ESG investing, etc. – work? And, if so, how well? It looks at this question in a very granular way,Read More


Around the World with a Timberland Outlook

Dec 7th, 2017 | Filed under: Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG, Commodities & Natural Resources

New Forests, an Australia-based investment manager focusing on strategies in forestry, land management, and conservation, has published its 2017 Timberland Investment Outlook. This paper begins with the observation that institutional investment in timberland now amounts to more than $100 billion. This makes it still a “relatively small” asset class, butRead More


Performance of SRIs: Funds and Indexes

Oct 5th, 2017 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

A new paper by Giuseppe Risalvato, a Ph.D. candidate at Università Carlo Cattaneo, Italy, contends that there is no “ethical sacrifice” in investing. That is, there is no discount that investors who want to be socially responsible will have to pay for that choice. Risalvato makes two chief theoretical argumentsRead More


A Call to Norway to Invest in Renewables

Sep 14th, 2017 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

A new paper from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis looks at Norway’s pension fund, which is now in the process of increasing its investment in stock from 62.5% of the portfolio to 70%. The total portfolio value is now $7.5 trillion NOK, or about US $976 billion.Read More


Eurekahedge Reports: Total Industry Assets Stand at $2.33 Trillion

Aug 29th, 2017 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Manager Selection, Newly Added, ESG, Hedge Funds

Eurekahedge’s August report says that the Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index grew by 0.88% in July 2017, while the underlying markets represented by the MSCI World Index grew by 1.64%. For June, overall, managers reported performance based losses of $8.4 billion, so that the industry growth was due entirely to netRead More


An Alternative Approach to Responsible Investing

Jul 31st, 2017 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

On May 18, 2017, CAIA’s Boston Chapter held a panel discussion at the InterContinental Boston on “An Alternative Approach to Responsible Investing.” Moderated by Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association, panelists included leading ESG investing experts Tim Brennan, Treasurer & CFO, Unitarian Universalist Association; Jeff Finkelman, CFA, Research Associate, Impact Investments,Read More


What They’re Saying About Smart Beta, Tactics, and Strategy

Jun 13th, 2017 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Access to Alternatives, Featured Post, Newly Added, Asset Allocation, ESG

For four years now, FTSE Russell has surveyed global institutions, asking about their interest in smart beta indexes and about their allocations to investable products based on same. The 2017 survey results are in. The new survey finds (as did the earlier ones) that risk reduction, return enhancement, and improvedRead More


Institutions that Integrate ESG Considerations: 6 Types

Jun 8th, 2017 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

A new white paper from the Investor Responsibility Research Center (the IRRC Institute) in conjunction with Sustainalytics looks at the various approaches that investors, institutional investors in particular, might and do take to integrate ESG issues into their portfolio decisions. Specifically, the IRRC and Sustainalytics, two Manhattan-based research groups longRead More


Marketplace Lending: Just Because I’m Disruptive Doesn’t Mean We Can’t Be Friends!

May 23rd, 2017 | Filed under: Emerging Asset Classes, State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

Mark Shore, chief research officer of Shore Capital Research, and an adjunct professor at DePaul University, has prepared an “overview” of marketplace lending for institutional investors and wealth managers. The practice under discussion is also known as peer-to-peer, or even in these character economizing days as P2P, lending. Shore explainsRead More


Making a Case: Divestiture is the Wrong Tool Re Climate Risk

May 17th, 2017 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

Sarah Bernstein, of the Pension Consulting Alliance, has prepared a discussion paper for the benefit of the Vermont Pension Investment Committee, on climate risk divestment.  Specifically, Bernstein wrote in reply to a request from the VPIC to examine three divestment tracks of common intent but differing levels of generality:  thermalRead More


Real Assets and Environmental/Social Impacts

May 11th, 2017 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG, Commodities & Natural Resources

It’s an old debate: does socially responsible investing under its variations (including “impact investing”) come at a cost in terms of risk-adjusted performance? Or does it actually add a dividend, so that one does well by doing good? Or are impact and non-impact investing in otherwise comparable assets on aRead More


ESG Concerns Have Multi-Factored Impact on Performance

May 2nd, 2017 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

The Cornerstone Capital Group, in a new white paper, looks at some of the specific interactions between ESG and investment factors. The paper, by Michael Geraghty, a global equity strategist for Cornerstone,  begins with a review of five of the factors most thoroughly studied in academia: value, the capture ofRead More


Ernst & Young on ESG Reporting

Apr 23rd, 2017 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

Are companies leveling with their shareholders and stakeholders in reporting data pertinent to their environmental and social impacts and their governance issues? Whether they are or aren’t levelling: how important is that as part of their relationship with their investors? For Ernst & Young, these questions have become more pressingRead More


A Look at Sustainable Investment around the World

Apr 6th, 2017 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Manager Selection, Asset Allocation, ESG

The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, a collaboration of green investment-oriented entities, has released its latest Global Sustainable Investment Review, looking at the state of SRI investments. This is the third in a series of reports “presenting results from Europe, the United States, Canada, Asia, Japan, and Australia and New Zealand.”Read More


Investing in Renewable Energy’s Infrastructure

Mar 23rd, 2017 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

As AllAboutAlpha’s readers likely know, in December 2015, in Paris, representatives of 195 countries adopted a framework for the mitigation of the effects of the emissions of greenhouse gases. The framework (known simply as the Paris Agreement) aims to confine the increase in global average temperature to just 2? CRead More


Notes on Impact Investing in Europe

Feb 28th, 2017 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

The Science Communication Unit (SCU) of the University of the West of England has produced what it calls a “future brief,” a discussion of environmental impact investing focused especially on the European context. The term “impact investing” itself is only about a decade old. The idea, under various guises, isRead More


A Vision of 2020 and 6 Imperatives

Jan 24th, 2017 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Manager Selection, Newly Added, ESG

PwC, the global network of business and tax consultancies, has put out a white paper on the near future of the alternative asset management industry, to and through the year 2020. The paper begins with some numbers: by 2020, PwC expects the industry’s assets under management to grow to atRead More


For The Netherlands: Sustainable Development Proposal

Dec 18th, 2016 | Filed under: Emerging Asset Classes, State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

Eighteen major financial institutions, including ABN AMRO and ING Groenbank, have signed onto an ambitious program for sustainable development goals’ investment (SDGI). The institutions involved proclaim that they believe it is in their best interest, “as well as that of our clients and investees, to consider the largest societal challengesRead More


Shedding Light on the ESG/SRI Scene      

Dec 6th, 2016 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

The US SIF Foundation has published its latest Trends Report on sustainable, responsible, and impact investing. On the one hand, this is a statistical snapshot of US-domiciled assets in the ESG/SRI field at years’ end 2015. On the other hand, it offers fascinating historical material making it clear how weRead More


Impact Investing: The Impacts, Measurement and Profit

Oct 30th, 2016 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

One candidate for the title “next new thing” is “impact investing.” As the term suggests, this refers to investing with an eye to the ways in which the investor’s decisions make an impact upon society beyond his own portfolio. This sounds a lot like socially responsible investing, or like itsRead More


Taking the Alcohol Out of the Wine:  A Decarbonized Index

Jul 19th, 2016 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Newly Added, ESG

A recent publication in the Financial Analysts Journal presents a model by virtue of which long-term passive investors may hedge the risks associated with climate change and/or with climate change related public policies. One incidental feature of the article is the sense it provides of the difference between carbon-free indexesRead More


ESG Issues: The Material and the Immaterial

Jul 12th, 2016 | Filed under: State of the Industry, Featured Post, Manager Selection, Newly Added, Asset Allocation, ESG

Activists pressing for corporate change on environmental, social, and governance issues often focus on issues that are, from the point of view of firm valuation, immaterial. Three scholars associated with the Harvard Business School recently quantified the materiality versus immateriality of shareholder proposals on ESG topics and discussed some ofRead More