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Federal Regulators Honing in on ESG

Throughout 2022 and the previous several years, operations of private funds have been significantly influenced by environmental, social, and governance considerations. To keep businesses in check, ever-increasing laws and legal criteria by which fund managers are evaluated are continually being formed. Many fund managers are still making decisions as they go as a result.

The Financial Conduct Authority in the U.K. and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are concentrating on the "greenwashing" issue as it relates to ESG. In order to gain a competitive edge by presenting a financial product as furthering ESG aims when the manager or product does not fulfil promoted requirements, fund managers sometimes exaggerate their ESG practises or impact. A new rule that would impose a strict new ESG disclosure system was proposed by the SEC.

In order to stop misleading marketing tactics like "greenwashing," new ESG regulations have been put in place. These regulations also require more thorough and uniform disclosures to the SEC and other advisory groups. Regulatory organisations are more concerned with managers' descriptions of their ESG and investing plans than with whether the strategy actually works. Regulating bodies essentially want to ensure that fund managers "say what they do, and do what they say."

Fund managers have also seen that regulatory organisations are concentrating on the possibility of hindsight bias. As new rules are adopted, statements and assertions made in pre-investment marketing materials may be assessed differently in the future.

ESG is here to stay, the scope will only expand and get more detailed, strict adherence to specified rules and processes as well as disclosure of obligations and expectations will be crucial are some significant lessons for private fund managers exploring the world of ESG. Additionally, managers should practise saying what they do and doing what they say and not take on more than they can handle in terms of restrictions, promises, or transparency duties.

(Source : Mergers & Acquisitions)
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