Greetings from Scottsdale! It’s great to be here discussing how a fiduciary can incorporate ESG factors into an investment process in a manner consistent with fiduciary obligations. (Last night, I also talked about the state fiduciary developments, with NJ forthcoming). Shareholder engagement is a popular approach to addressing ESG risks, and recent activity from the DOL and SEC highlight the need to be aware of fiduciary risk when directly engaging company boards (or voting proxies) or relying on others to do so. I suspect there be will more and more focus on shareholder engagement and the costs incurred, perhaps more so than other ESG strategies (e.g., positive screens, etc.) ultimately.
George Michael Gerstein advises financial institutions on the fiduciary and prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA. As co-chair of the fiduciary governance group, he assists clients with tracking, and understanding, the numerous fiduciary developments at the federal and state levels, including the rules and regulations of governmental plans. He also advises clients with respect to the fiduciary duty implications of ESG investing.