State Street Global Advisors, the world’s third-largest asset manager, has lambasted a proposed US rule on the use of environmental, social and governance investing across pension portfolios, arguing it could jeopardise the retirement incomes of millions of people.
In June, the Department of Labor set out plans for a rule that would require private pension administrators to prove that they were not sacrificing financial returns by putting money in ESG-focused investments.
But the $3tn asset manager said it did not support the change, joining a growing chorus of organisations and investors calling for the DoL to roll back its proposals.
“Addressing material ESG issues is good business practice and essential to a company’s long-term financial performance — a matter of value, not values,” wrote SSGA’s Lori Heinel, deputy global chief investment officer, and general counsel Katherine McKinley in a letter to the DoL. “We seek to capture these drivers of long-term shareholder value for our clients.”
The use of ESG in investment decisions has become more mainstream in Europe, with a growing acceptance that issues linked to climate change and poor corporate governance can affect the long-term financial health of companies. Asset managers have been heavily invested in the area,