Why ESG funds fail and how they could succeed

Why ESG funds fail and how they could succeed

Investments have consequences. Capital can be used to pursue technological breakthroughs, targeted returns or non-financial goals such as lower CO2 emissions. Environmental, social and governance strategies have captured the imagination of many who want to do good and good – that is, generate returns above market returns and improve social and environmental outcomes. But to … Read more

Fund managers, regulators fight over plans to tighten ESG rules

Fund managers, regulators fight over plans to tighten ESG rules

Proposed rules from the Securities and Exchange Commission would establish a common benchmark for how sustainable investment products are labeled, marketed and reported. This can lead to investors pulling money from funds that do not appear to take the standards seriously. “In the short term, these rules, if enacted, could result in a decrease in … Read more

Saudi Sovereign-Wealth Fund discloses financials for first time ahead of bond sale

Saudi Sovereign-Wealth Fund discloses financials for first time ahead of bond sale

DUBAI – Saudi Arabia offered a first look at the performance of its $600 billion sovereign wealth fund, revealing returns that were in line with the broader market and revealing that it invested $2 billion in Russian assets before the war in Ukraine. The public investment fund has hired banks to potentially raise billions of … Read more

The ESG threat goes beyond BlackRock

The ESG threat goes beyond BlackRock

Larry Fink can’t catch a break. He is chairman and CEO of BlackRock, the largest investment manager in the world with $8.5 trillion in assets under management. In the fight for sustainable investment and the spread of environmental, social and government policies across Wall Street, both sides are gunning for him. Red-headed state governors and … Read more

An ESG champion stumbles

An ESG champion stumbles

California’s public employee pension system has a decade of underperforming.

An anti-ESG activist investor is pushing for changes at Apple and Disney

An anti-ESG activist investor is pushing for changes at Apple and Disney

An activist investor who has been a vocal critic of so-called environmental, social and governance, or ESG, investments is urging Apple Inc. AAPL 1.07% and Walt Disney Co. HAZE -1.74% not to engage in political discussions and to make employment decisions without regard to a person’s race, gender or political views. Vivek Ramaswamy, who recently … Read more

ESG does neither very well nor very well

ESG does neither very well nor very well

Trillions of dollars have flowed into environmental, social and government funds in recent years. In 2021 alone, the figure grew by $8 billion a day. Bloomberg Intelligence projects that more than a third of all global assets under management could carry explicit ESG labels by 2025, amounting to more than $50 trillion. But for a … Read more

ESG cannot square with fiduciary duty

ESG cannot square with fiduciary duty

Nineteen state attorneys general last month wrote a letter to BlackRock CEO Laurence D. Fink. They warned that BlackRock’s environmental, social and governance investment policies appear to involve “widespread violations” of the self-interest rule, a well-established legal principle. The exclusivity rule requires investment managers to act to maximize financial returns, not to advance social or … Read more

Break up the ESG investment giants

Break up the ESG investment giants

Illustration: David Klein Three of the biggest investment boutiques in the US – BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street – have long used their dominance in passive investment funds to force companies to comply with their preferred set of environmental, social and government policies. Their reign may be coming to a rightful end, however, as America’s … Read more

ESG Backlash at Odds With Shift by Companies and Investors

ESG Backlash at Odds With Shift by Companies and Investors

Republicans are stepping up efforts to prevent investors from considering environmental and other factors in their decisions. They run up against the trillions of dollars in investments committed to funds that address such concerns. The criticism focuses on the belief that Wall Street and investors are cutting off fossil fuel producers from lending and investment. … Read more