As reported in The Wall Street Journal, companies are preparing to receive a record number climate-related shareholder proposals this proxy season, as major institutional investors, most notably, State Street, Vanguard and BlackRock, seek more disclosure on how climate change will affect the company’s operations. While disclosure remains voluntary and inconsistent, the SEC does not seem inclined at this time to mandate added disclosure requirements specific to climate change. Numerous institutional investors, particularly those who are fiduciaries, view climate change as presenting a material risk to portfolio performance, as well as a source of alpha.
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.