The Latest
FIS Harvard

ESG factors take centre stage in the evolving world of the fiduciary

The modern responsibilities of the fiduciary investor extend beyond what are perceived as the “mainstream” investment issues to those related to environment, society and governance (ESG) factors. But there is a growing understanding among fiduciaries that ESG considerations are now equally important in discharging their obligations. David Wood, adjunct lecturer in public policy and director of the Initiative for Responsible […]
FIS Harvard

Good for Harvard, good for the world: Why HMC embraced ESG with a passion

Harvard Management Corporation (HMC) signed up to the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) less than a year ago, but the company that manages the $36 billion Harvard University endowment is already moving rapidly to build environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into every investment decision it makes. Jane Mendillo, president and chief executive of […]
Opinion

End of the beginning for responsible investment

Recent reflections on this month’s five-year anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse have focused on a variety of developments since the crisis: from reform to remuneration, sovereign debt to shadow banking, and from offshore tax to the Occupy movement. However, one significant area that has been largely overlooked has been the rise of sustainable and […]
In Conversation

Sustainability to create
new drivers of return

Sustainability is constructing a portfolio today on the earnings of the future, according to global head of investment content for Towers Watson, Roger Urwin. Not all performance is born equal, he says, and sustainability is performance with purpose. A cap-weighted portfolio is made up of an earnings stream based on today’s conditions, Urwin explains, with […]
Analysis

Tackling sustainability in emerging markets

Emerging market investing and sustainable investing easily rank as two of the most substantiated of the many investment trends of the past decade. However, the two styles of investing are far from natural bedfellows. Christian Ragnartz, as chief investment officer of the $17-billion-plus Swedish pension fund AP7 – which has 13 per cent of its […]
Investor Profile

Environment Agency fund: a natural progression

It’s hardly surprising that a pension fund for employees working for an organisation charged with reducing climate change and its consequences invests according to strict green criteria. Yet the investment strategy of the United Kingdom’s £2.1-billion ($3.29 billion) Environment Agency Pension Fund (EAPF) definitely has the capacity to surprise. The EAPF posted a total return […]
Research

Raising ESG ratings with improved returns

While environmental, social and governance factors may be all the rage in investment strategies, the right tools to measure results of their implementation would make tangible what skeptics might think are the emperor’s new clothes. Cue researchers Zoltán Nagy, Doug Cogan and Dan Sinnreich from MSCI with their December 2012 paper, Optimizing ESG Risk Factors […]
Investor Profile

USS powers into diversity

In the past few years the £34-billion ($54.7 billion) Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) has substantially diversified its asset allocation, including a large alternatives allocation, and extended its investment team from 65 to 105. In the latest chapter of the fund’s investment department reincarnation, from October this year a separate but fully owned USS company, USS […]