SEC Commissioner Uyeda Questions Utility of ESG Regulations

In a January 27, 2023, speech before the California ’40 Acts Group, a nonprofit organization that discusses matters affecting the investment management industry, SEC Commissioner Mark T. Uyeda questioned the utility of regulations that specifically address investing driven by environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, arguing that the existing SEC regime is already well-suited to regulating the area. He focused on the uncertain definition of ESG, the potential for regulatory overreach and the practices of large asset managers, repeatedly citing concerns about asset managers’ pursuit of political or social causes. As is customary, Uyeda clarified that the views he expressed were his own, not those of the SEC or any of his fellow commissioners. This article distills his insights. See our two-part series on the evolving SEC approach to ESG: “SEC Commissioners Peirce and Roisman Argue Against Prescriptive ESG Disclosures” (Oct. 21, 2021); and “SEC Commissioners Gensler and Lee Advocate Further SEC Oversight of ESG Efforts” (Oct. 28, 2021).

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