One of the top-of-mind issues for plan investment committees is the selection of asset class to incorporate ESG factors. Most of the attention has been on public equities, but institutional investors are increasingly asking service providers about other asset classes. Recent survey results show greater interest in pursuing an ESG strategy via hedge funds. This, of course, begs the important question as to how a committee could assess and select a hedge fund manager that has the resources and experience to effect such a strategy. Consultants and others can help in manager selection. UN PRI also provides guidance on selecting ESG hedge funds.
I was interviewed by InvestmentNews on the current state of play re. the DOL Fiduciary Rule.
We’ve been following developments re. China A Shares, as investment managers continue to ask about the fiduciary implications of entering this market.
Extract from 401(k) Specialist Magazine: “Does anyone have a concise definition of ESG? Anyone? Neither do we. It’s one of the main sticking points for many 401k advisors and their plan sponsor clients when constructing investment menus with environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in mind. The DOL and similar regulatory bodies have made attempts at guidance to help clear it all up (most notable in 2008, 2015 and just last month), but true to form with government “help,” it’s too often anything but. Which is why we called George Michael Gerstein, Fiduciary Governance Group Co-Chair with legal powerhouse Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young. Gerstein has followed the issue closely and cleared much of the confusion during a presentation and panel at Fi360’s annual conference in San Diego in April. He took some time to answer the most common questions he’s getting on the topic, and the red flags 401k advisors, sponsors and participants should watch for when entering the space.” A link to the Q&A can be found here.