We here at LNWM have long believed that investing based on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors is not about politics but about performance. So it was great to read a commentary this week in Barron’s by the President and CEO of Calvert Research, John Streur, making this same point. To quote John: “Evaluation of ESG factors is not an attempt to impose a political agenda on society through the capital markets. ESG investment strategies have become mainstream because of a growing realization amongst consumers and investors alike that ESG considerations are material to the financial performance of businesses everywhere.”
We, like Calvert Research, with whom we work closely, believe there are many misconceptions about ESG investing, and that ESG is not about politics. We also know that for some people, including many of our clients, the benefits of investments (their “utility”) comes from more than just returns. We make it a priority to assemble portfolios that reflect not only risk/return goals but also, when appropriate, portfolios that reflect our clients’ values.