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BlackRock backtracks on proxy support

BlackRock has flagged an ESG-lite agenda ahead of the 2022 corporate proxy-voting season. In a note published last week, the BlackRock Investment Stewardship (BIS) group says the US$10 trillion manager – the world’s largest – will direct its considerable proxy power in favour of fewer shareholder proposals this year as companies face votes on more…

David Chaplin | 13th May 2022 | More
‘We can’t blow up our own mandate’: caution needed on transition  

The recent surge in demand for fossil fuels doesn’t mean the green energy revolution is dead. But investors need to proceed with caution lest they lose their mandate to manage the transition. There are two schools of thought on what Russia’s invasion of Ukraine means for fossil fuel production and consumption. Either it will hasten…

Lachlan Maddock | 27th Apr 2022 | More
  • Why greenwashing stains (and won’t wash out)

    Regulators won’t be able to scrub out environmental, social and governance (ESG) ‘greenwashing’ in the investment industry, according to influential US finance academic, Aswath Damodaran. In a blistering attack on the ESG investing sector last month, Damodaran says greenwashing – or falsely marketing funds as sustainable (or the like) – is an indelible feature of…

    David Chaplin | 8th Apr 2022 | More
    ESG and the ‘clash of cultures’

    The cult of the benchmark is alive and well in global financial markets – and it’s probably doing more harm than good when it comes to ESG investing. ESG has leapt from the fringes of the financial services to widespread acceptance in just a handful of years. But markets tend to act as myopic, short-term…

    Lachlan Maddock | 17th Mar 2022 | More
  • Fink calls for proxy power to the people

    Larry Fink wants to make capitalism a force for good. A new proxy advice initiative could be one step in the right direction. Stakeholder capitalism is not about politics,” writes BlackRock CEO Larry Fink in his 2022 letter to CEOs. in his  It is not a social or ideological agenda. It is not “woke.” It is…

    Lachlan Maddock | 25th Jan 2022 | More
    Investment app rides consumer net-zero trend

    Acacia Money, a fintech start-up which has embraced major consumer and market trends in financial services, this week takes its next big step through the launch of a ‘super solutions’ component of its offering. Armed with data from Chant West and aggregator Yodlee, the savings and wealth management platform launched in August will now incorporate…

    Greg Bright | 16th Dec 2021 | More
    Big super turns to ‘the Excel of carbon’ – but beware the ‘house of cards’

    Michael Lebbon wants to create carbon data that’s as ubiquitous as Uber. But he believes that too much consolidation in the still nascent industry risks creating a dangerous game of follow the leader. “I’ve never wanted to work in pure finance; it didn’t sit well with me,” says Michal Lebbon, CEO of carbon data startup…

    Lachlan Maddock | 10th Dec 2021 | More
    Alliance lines up new ESG strategies

    Third-party marketer 3PD has joined up with an ESG specialist multi-affiliate and distribution company based in in London, Haven Green. 3PD, which was launched last year by Rob Harrison and Steve Larkin, two experienced funds management marketers, has formed an alliance to represent Haven Green’s managers, which include pure-play ESG specialists, in Australia and New…

    Greg Bright | 5th Dec 2021 | More
    Investors forge ahead with climate strategies

    One clear message from this month’s COP26 climate meeting is that big investors – especially Australian investors – will not be waiting for politicians to lead the way with a response to the crisis. Institutional investors are now “moving to the point of implementation” of their sustainability strategies, according to global manager Ninety One, with…

    Staff Writer | 26th Nov 2021 | More
  • All fees tumble again as ESG matures

    Even the strong trend towards ESG investing, overlaid with heightened interest in climate-related strategies, has failed to halt the decline in funds management fees. The latest biennial study by global mandate search and research consultancy bfinance shows that fee compression has caught up with global ESG equities over the past five years, the average mandate…

    Greg Bright | 18th Nov 2021 | More
    Apex into bat for sustainability

    Apex Group, the global administrator and fintech which last month took the reins at Australia’s Mainstream, has notched up another, more eclectic, milestone, mixing ESG with cricket. Apex, which has a strong West Indian connection through the domicile of its chief executive and founder, Peter Hughes, became the ‘Official Sustainability Partner’ for the West Indies…

    Greg Bright | 12th Nov 2021 | More
    Big funds poor report card on climate

    The world’s largest state-owned funds have accelerated their allocations to renewables and lifted their targets for net-zero portfolios but, so far, their investments have been “miniscule”, according to the latest report by Global SWF. In a special edition of its monthly newsletter coinciding with this month’s COP26 meeting, the institutional investment research firm calculates that…

    Greg Bright | 5th Nov 2021 | More