Policy Papers

The Evolution of ESG in Asset Management

There has been increasing information and debate about the role environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors could, or should, play within investment strategies. The sheer variety of approaches to, and interpretation of, ESG and its evolving nature, has led to confusion amongst potential customers. The European Commission has announced it will step in to provide clarification through regulation.

This paper takes a closer look at how ESG is being integrated into the investment strategies managed by NCI members, which are specialist, independent, owner-managed boutiques, and whether regulation or the free market will provide the right framework for fostering deeper understanding and facilitating continued innovation in ESG. A survey of NCI membership suggests ESG considerations are already firmly embedded in decision- making.

NCI’s recommendations focus on the need for clarity and transparency, but with free market choice through industry-led solutions. While many asset managers welcome the regulators’ decision not to adopt a prescriptive approach towards ESG integration, NCI believes it should be the industry that is leading the reform initiative.

Jamie Carter

Chairman, New City Initiative Chief Executive, Oldfield Partners