ESG in Asset Management: A Global Perspective - October 2021

The global asset management community has long been among the leaders in recognising the investment and risk management benefits of tracking the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance of the assets it invests in. This pressure from the asset management community has driven companies to make better disclosures in relation to ESG criteria. Concurrently, global regulators are recognising the important role of financial institutions in helping to achieve crucial ESG outcomes by introducing new regulations that place direct obligations on asset managers to produce both entity- and (in some cases) product-level ESG disclosures. This briefing provides a snapshot of the global regulatory landscape in the context of ESG-related disclosures.

Various jurisdictions are starting to introduce mandatory ESG disclosures for asset managers. Although climate-related disclosures (one strand of the “E” in ESG) have taken priority to date, the regulatory landscape for a broader spectrum of ESG disclosures is starting to take shape. While the EU has been a first-mover in taking a more expansive and prescriptive approach to ESG disclosures, the UK, the US, and Asia are now beginning to make strides in setting their own ESG-related disclosure requirements. These measures aim to ensure that disclosures are consistent and to avoid so-called “greenwashing”, whereby funds or products are labelled as green or sustainable but do not necessarily meet objective agreed standards as to what actually constitutes a green or sustainable product.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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