Managers Pay More Attention To ESG

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    Nearly nine in 10 asset managers are paying more attention to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies as a lasting trend, says a Cerulli Associates report. It says although many investment managers see the growth of ESG as a permanent shift that will influence the long-term investment strategies they implement for clients, most managers only consider it to be somewhat important for managers to offer ESG capabilities today. It says this is a significant development, however, as most asset managers have historically thought of socially responsible investing as a niche area that appealed only to religious groups and certain other mission-based, non-profit organizations. Managers are observing increased demand for ESG from all types of clients and prospects, especially in the institutional and retirement planning channels. As well, institutional sales teams increasingly report that large asset holders such as defined contribution and defined benefit retirement plan sponsors are inquiring about the potential benefits and drawbacks of ESG strategies.