InvestmentNews poses 3 questions
Our director of responsible investing discusses ESG with the publication.
Published April 20 2020
Matt: So Martin, we're talking about ESG, and ESG investing. Uh, had a great cover story on it, which you participated in, thank you so much. First question for ya, how has the pandemic impacted ESG investing?
Martin: Uh, a couple of key dynamics have really emerged, and I would kind of bucket them into performance and purpose. So as it relates to performance, you know, this is really a, a key feature, as it relates to, to ESG as a whole because there's definitely been a lot of, uh, cynicism and concern that, maybe this is just a, a passing fad. And exactly the opposite has happened during the course of the first quarter of 2020. You know, in that standpoint, you have seen ESG factors actually outperform the broad market. And then secondarily, you've had a lot of sustainable and ESG-oriented funds, um, see much more positive fund-flows during the course of this crisis.
Matt: Are there any specific sectors or areas of ESG that are moving toward more frequently right now?
Martin: You know, the social factor, uh, that's something that is coming into prominence over the course of the past couple of months, because when you think about it, you know, this is definitely a, uh, a human crisis, and there's no company, there's no economy, there's no person that is currently immune. And so when you look at a corporation as whole, it's really part of a human network. You have customers, you have suppliers, you have employees. So when you start to evaluate the social dimension of any one of these corporations and how they're handling this current crisis, it's very important to understand how they're adapting to change, but also how were they prepared for that change.
Matt: What do you see as perhaps the long-term impact on ESG?
Martin: You're starting to see a, you know, really emerging between fundamental investing and what people currently deem to be sustainable or ESG investing. You know, the lines are really becoming blur, and that's because, you know, one of the core tenants of is risk mitigation, you know, so really understanding when you're evaluating anyone of these companies, having a full spectrum of, what are the potential risk and opportunities that come into play?
Matt: Martin, thanks so much for joining us, some great insights. That's 3 Questions, and for InvestmentNews, I'm Matt Ackermann.