The Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds ("CRPTF") consists of six State Pension Funds and nine State Trust Funds. CRPTF has approximately 212,000 pension plan beneficiaries and participants which include state and municipal employees, teachers, retirees and survivorships, as well as for trust funds that support academic programs, grants, and initiatives throughout the State. As of December 31, 2018, CRPTF had $32.5 billion of assets under management.
As a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, CRPTF only selects investment partners and money managers who carefully review the effect of ESG issues on companies. Additionally, CRPTF has implemented diversity principles to assess the diversity policies of its vendors, including asset managers. Further to that, CRTPF has launched a domestic equity brokerage program which sets targets for utilizing minority and women-owned, Connecticut-based, and emerging broker-dealers. Finally, CRPTF launched Connecticut Horizon Fund to create opportunities for minority-owned firms, woman-owned firms, Connecticut-based firms, and emerging firms with assets less than $2 billion.
Bloomberg: Matt Patsky confronts corporations on everything from their carbon footprints to the diversity of their workforces. But now, in the wake of racial unrest sweeping America, Patsky is having a reckoning of his own.
Institutional Asset Manager: An informal stakeholder group of investors, finance industry groups, and NGOs has set out ways to improve the reporting by businesses of environmental, social and governance (ESG) information, saying the world is “at a crossroads” for building a sustainable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Financial Times: What can asset managers do to help during a pandemic? The answer is quite a lot.
Pensions & Investments: ERISA plan fiduciaries cannot invest in ESG vehicles that sacrifice investment returns or take on additional risk, a proposed rule says.
The Economist: In the mayfair office of Chris Hohn, the boss of TCI, a hedge fund, an enormous photograph of a melting iceberg hangs on one wall. Robert Gibbins, the founder of Autonomy Capital, another London hedge fund, says his desk is adorned with the deformed remains of a car bumper, melted by an Australian wildfire. [Full article available to The Economist subscribers]
Financial Post: Seven major European investment firms told Reuters they will divest from beef producers, grains traders and even government bonds in Brazil if they do not see progress in resolving the surging destruction of the Amazon rainforest.
Financial Times: More than half of the world’s largest pension schemes have made no allocation to climate-related passive funds in spite of mounting pressure on institutional investors to step up the fight against global warming. [Full article available to Financial Times subscribers]
Network for Business Sustainability: No company is safe from hedge fund activism. In 2019, activist hedge funds targeted 839 companies in 19 countries. Activist hedge funds control more than $146 billion in assets, part of the more than $3 trillion hedge fund market.
S&P Global: Prolonged working from home could reinforce exclusive behaviors and biases and undermine inclusive workplace cultures, which experts warn could have long-term implications for organizations that do not pay attention to the risks.
The Foundation North was founded following the sale of the community's share in what had been the Auckland Savings Bank. Today, this endowment enables the organization to provide grants to not-for-profit groups focusing on Increased Equity, Social Inclusion, Regenerative Environment, and Community Support in Auckland and Northland, New Zealand. As of March 20, 2019, the Foundation had NZD 1.356 billion (USD 648 million) of assets under management.
As part of Foundation's North investment approach, the organization ensures that all of its external managers consider ESG issues when investing the Foundation's assets. Furthermore, the North Foundation seeks to invest in climate change solutions, advance the efficient use of natural resources, renewable energy, clean technology and delivering societal solutions in areas such as health, education and economic wellbeing. Finally, to further its mission, the organization allocates 2% of its portfolio to impact investing.
Institutional Investor: Asset managers from Black and other minority communities are urging their peers to help “level the playing field” for businesses led by people of color.
Financial Times: Financial analysts from minority racial groups enjoy less access to corporate management than their white peers, according to a new study that analyses transcripts from tens of thousands of company conference calls. [Full article available to Financial Times subscribers]
Forbes: Acknowledged as an old boys’ club, the private equity industry is at risk of becoming further underrepresented by women due to issues around the gender pay gap, a lack of diversity and a resistance to change the macho culture that persists in this sector.
Bloomberg: Guidelines released Tuesday are set to encourage more borrowers to issue bonds tied to general environmental targets, rather than specific projects, following massive growth of similar deals in the loan market.
ThinkAdvisor: Critics of environmental, social and governance fund ratings often cite numerous reasons as to why the ratings lack validity. While the ratings aren’t perfect, we explore some of the reasons why we believe they are worthwhile and how they may continue to improve.
Financial Times: Liberal-leaning investors and environmentalists have scored a record number of wins at US companies’ annual general meetings this year on issues ranging from sexual harassment policies to climate change. [Full article available to Financial Times subscribers]
Institutional Investor: Investors should explore the “dark side” of responsible investing, going beyond the common tactic of simply avoiding stocks for environmental, social or governance reasons.
Bloomberg: Shareholder and environmental activists have written to investors of Africa’s biggest bank by assets, Standard Bank Group Ltd., asking that they vote against the re-election of seven non-executive directors with ties to fossil-fuel companies.
Financial Times: Climate change poses a bigger threat to financial stability than the coronavirus pandemic and the rules on bank lending to fossil fuel groups must be tightened to address it, a new report has warned. [Full article available to Financial Times subscribers]
Established in 1917, Alecta is the largest occupational pension provider in Sweden with over 2.4 million members. As of December 31 2019, Alecta had SEK 954 billion ($103 billion) of assets under management.
As a long-term responsible investor, Alecta considers sustainability along with financial data – including negative screening criteria on companies active in controversial weapons. Furthermore, as part of its involvement with the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, Alecta seeks to fully decarbonize its portfolios. To do so, the pension provider engages with portfolio companies on Climate risk individually and collaboratively through Climate Action 100+, and is heavily invested in green bonds (SEK 40 billion).
Bloomberg: Global investors managing 11 trillion euros ($12 trillion) are demanding a rapid green recovery in Europe to avoid worsening financial, health and social problems.
Financial Times: When East Capital invests in a Chinese company, the asset manager runs through a checklist of 60 questions designed to gauge the target’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials.
Bloomberg: To everyone who's asked me some variant of "how's it going?" over the past month, I've probably lied. Or lacked the words to articulate it fully, but I’m giving it a shot.
Bloomberg: The world’s largest banks have issued billions in loans to sustainable businesses and taken some steps to restrict funding for some of world’s worst polluters. But the greening of global finance hasn’t reached the boardroom yet.
Institutional Investor: When investors use environmental, social, and governance factors to choose companies to invest in, they don’t outperform, research shows. But when ESG factors are combined with high employee satisfaction, shareholders reap the rewards.
Financial Times: The all-male boards of hundreds of Japanese companies face a mass shaming this month as investors prepare to vote against the leadership of companies that do not have any female directors. [Full article available to Financial Times subscribers]
Pensions & Investments: While climate change dominated many annual shareholder meetings so far this year, issues raised by the coronavirus pandemic, such as the treatment of workers and corporate boards' responses to the crisis, are expected to feature prominently in 2021.
Bloomberg: Australian investments in clean energy, conservation and other initiatives that have a positive environmental or social outcome are set to rise fivefold to A$100 billion ($67 billion) in the next five years, according to a survey published Tuesday.
Financial Times: A small cluster of hedge funds managed by women has outperformed those run by men through the coronavirus crisis, new data show, highlighting the industry’s long-running lack of progress in fixing its gender imbalance.
Oslo Pensjonsforsikring was established in 2000 by the city of Oslo as a life insurance company to manage the defined benefit pension fund for employees of the Oslo city council. As at March 30 2020, Oslo Pensjonsforsikring had NK 100 billion (US$ 11 billions) of assets under management.
The organization applies the exclusion list of GPFG, the Norwegian Oil fund, based on tobacco, controversial weapons, and climate criteria. Furthermore, as part of its Climate Change strategy, Oslo Pensjonsforsikring systematically conducts scenario analysis and measures the carbon intensity of existing and new equity investments to ensure that climate risks are accurately captured. As such, the life insurance company has set carbon intensity reduction targets of 40% by 2030.
The Asset: While there have always been investment opportunities in environmental risks such as typhoons, earthquakes, and floods, these have traditionally been long-term plays for institutional investors like insurance and reinsurance companies with extended horizons and plenty of cash.
Bloomberg: European authorities have told banks for the first time to take account of environmental risks in lending decisions, ramping up pressure on the financial industry to respond to climate change.
Financial Times: The US asset management industry’s top regulator has warned about the risks of relying on simple ratings when considering environmental, social or governance issues as part of an investment decision. [Full article available to Financial Times subscribers]
International Investment: In the same week as the boss of one of the UK's top energy companies warned the economic impact from climate change could prove to be worse than that from coronavirus, a group of top investors has set out new guidance for how investment firms can manage escalating climate risks.
Bloomberg: BlackRock Inc. has challenged Korea Electric Power Corp. over plans to invest in new coal-fired power plants in Vietnam and Indonesia.
Institutional Investor: Asset managers that ignore environmental, social, and governance factors may find themselves losing out on big mandates.
Financial Times: The coronavirus pandemic will slash energy sector investment by about $400bn this year — the biggest ever annual fall — with the International Energy Agency warning that the world could grow more dependent on cheaper, dirtier fuels that undermine global climate goals. [Full article available to Financial Times subscribers]
Institutional Investor: “That lady in Central Park is a PM at an asset manager,” one chief investment officer tweeted Monday night, followed by a facepalm emoji.
Green Biz: With the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are facing a global pandemic that is devastating people and their livelihoods, disrupting supply chains, profoundly deepening inequalities and undoing progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.