Navigating the Evolving Legal and Regulatory ESG Investing Terrain (Part Two of Two)

Investing that takes into account environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors appears to be increasingly important to the asset management industry. At the recent Seward & Kissel 2020 Private Funds Forum, a panel provided an analysis of the evolving business and regulatory landscape for ESG investing. The program featured Seward & Kissel partners Debra Franzese, Patricia A. Poglinco and John Ryan, as well as Simmons & Simmons partner Lucian Firth. This two-part series highlights the key takeaways from the presentation. This second article reviews the challenges posed by new interpretations of the duties of ERISA fiduciaries, the E.U.’s new sustainable finance disclosure regulation and the outlook for ESG investing. The first article covered defining ESG, the key drivers of ESG investing and the SEC’s approach to ESG. See “ESG Considerations for Fund Managers: The U.S. Landscape (Part One of Two)” (Jun. 25, 2020); “Survey Identifies Drivers and Obstacles for Sustainable Investing” (Apr. 2, 2020); and “IFI Global Panel: ESG Will Fundamentally Transform Investing in the Coming Decade” (Mar. 12, 2020).

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