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‘They’re still sticking to their goals’: MSCI on YFYS

While Australia’s biggest asset owners are “extremely sophisticated” on ESG, the shackles of the idiosyncratic Your Future Your Super (YFYS) benchmarks are still holding them back on portfolio decarbonisation. A micro-debate occasionally rages in the Australian financial landscape about whether we’re behind or ahead of the ESG curve. Certainly we’ve lagged Europe in terms of…

Lachlan Maddock | 24th Jun 2022 | More
Failure and frustration for ESG post-YFYS

Your Future, Your Super (YFYS) is the ultimate blunt instrument, and super will be glad to see it tweaked. But perhaps the bigger debate is around the future use of another blunt instrument: exclusion. If recent market moves are any determinant, it’s the exclusionary funds that will suffer most under the YFYS performance test, by…

Lachlan Maddock | 8th Jun 2022 | More
‘Hold your view lightly’: GQG on Russia, ESG

Everybody wants certainty, but it’s the one thing in short supply in markets today. “In investing, the most important thing to recognize is that you’re probably wrong in anything which you believe,” Mark Barker, head of international at GQG Partners, told the Inside Network’s Equities and Growth Symposium. “Have a view, but hold your view…

Lachlan Maddock | 2nd Jun 2022 | More
  • Reject passive, return to active for pension funds

    Active management will be increasingly important for defined contribution (DC) retirement savings schemes as value-for-fees, expected lower future returns and sustainable investment preferences come to the fore, according to a new MFS white paper. The analysis says the rising exposure to index investments in DC schemes has been built on at least three “misconceptions about…

    David Chaplin | 6th 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
    Institutional investors weather the great rethink

    A “dramatic and sobering” first quarter has seen institutions re-think everything from ESG to hedge funds as the job of investing becomes harder in a more dangerous world. Recent surveys of global institutions have unearthed an increasingly gloomy outlook from our biggest investors as they scrutinise the new inflation paradigm and a more multi-polar geopolitical…

    Lachlan Maddock | 13th 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
    Statewide seeds bespoke Apostle fund

    Apostle’s People and Planet fund was tailor-made for Statewide Super’s members – and has interesting implications for an industry trying to meet a new wave of demand for sustainable options.   Two years ago, many institutions were still outsourcing their socially responsible investing (SRI) to AMP Capital or Pendal. But the Boe Pahari controversy saw…

    Lachlan Maddock | 23rd Mar 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
    The ‘S’ stands for stability

    When it comes to geopolitics, investing isn’t as easy as “ESG”. With the prospect of sanctions leaving investors with stranded Russian assets on the balance sheet, several commentators have suggested this could all of have been avoided if those investors just took the “S” (social) and “G” (governance) in “ESG” more seriously. They believe that…

    Lachlan Maddock | 9th Mar 2022 | More
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