Is Trump Driving ESG Interest in the US?


Stockholm (NordSIP) – Based on its latest statistics, Morningstar notices that the usage of ESG data on its platform has quadrupled since President Trump’s inauguration last January. The Direct Cloud platform provides ESG data among other financial information to asset managers and advisory firms and independent wealth managers. It is “an indication that the subject is on the minds of an increasing number of our users”, writes Morningstar consultant Jon Hale in a recent post.

Another interesting fact is that 12 new open-end funds or ETFs have been launched in the US in the first half of 2017 in the U.S. This brings the total number of sustainable investment funds in the U.S. close to 200. Even if the numbers of products seems still very low when comparing with the choice European investors face today, the trend in terms of fund flow seems to have definitely picked up in recent months. According to Hale, “The new flows into these funds in just the first half of 2017 is already more than the net flows for 2014 or 2015, and are on pace to top the group’s $4.8 billion in net flows last year.”

- Promotion -

The eyes of more individual investors may turn towards ESG investment vehicles, as news of strong performance sparks their interest. According to Morningstar, “among the 17 funds focused on renewable energy, water, and clean tech, 14 have outpaced the S&P 500 so far this year, with a dozen posting double-digit returns. By comparison, the iShares S&P 500 Energy Sector ETF lost 12.8% during the first half.”

Picture (c) – katz—

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In the current economic environment, even the strongest companies will face challenges from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps now more than ever, understanding the factors that could have a material impact on a company’s sustainability will play a role in investment decision-making.

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