We planned last year to publish a special series on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). Unlike most topics in our commentaries, the origins and complexities of ESG were unfamiliar.
To the rescue came our Nuveen colleagues, a Responsible Investing team of close to thirty ESG professionals. Of course, risk management is core to Churchill’s own practice, but the recent refinement of ESG data and insights allows us to enhance our approach to ESG diligence.
Per our Chart of the Week, ESG is a fundamental concern of investors today. Whether it will become as impactful a motivator of manager behavior will depend on regulation and client demand. But it clearly has landed in the top two or three asset management issues for 2022.
Origins. ESG in some form has been around for centuries. Early practices were rooted in screening out business activities misaligned with stakeholder values, harming the environment or society. From Mosaic law dating back to 1500 BC, to precepts in the Koran, to Henry VIII’s legalization of lending, to 18th century England and the Methodist movement, right up to the 20th century’s “socially responsible investing, now referred to as responsible investing.