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Carl Ayers

Carl Ayers Carl Ayers, Publisher | 202-908-6194 | cayers@regcompliancewatch.com Carl has been the publisher of Regulatory Compliance Watch since 2008. He has won several national journalism awards, including for investigative reporting. In 2018, Ayers won two awards - a second place award for Best Spot News for a story reporting Form ADV developments ahead of the SEC (IA Watch, July 6, 2017), and a third place award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on an adviser that initially fought SEC charges (IA Watch, July 27, 2017). He has worked at newspapers, in television news and in healthcare journalism. Carl hails from New Jersey, earned his master's degree from Northwestern University and enjoys playing guitar, working out and pursuing golf.
Grass grow up from dollars
Several states have or hope to pass rules that target ESG investing, including one that proposes to make it a criminal offense to invest funds via 'environmental, social and governance' criteria.
SEC examiners continued interest in advisers pursuing ESG strategies is seen in new Division of Examinations document request letters addressing this issue.
Green traffic light against cloudy sky.
Investment managers can consider “the economic effects of climate change and other environmental, social, or governance factors” when making investment decisions under ERISA without risking their fiduciary status, according to a new final rule from the Department of Labor.
Advisers would have to describe their use of ESG factors, their strategies, methods of analysis and how they voted relevant proxies.
The policy under the Biden Administration has shifted to a green light for advisers to pursue ESG investments in ERISA plans as seen in a new Department of Labor proposed rule.
You can compare the new exam request letter with one RCW shared two years ago to see DOE’s evolution regarding ESG. If your firm engages in ESG investing, or plans to, you’d be wise to eye what examiners are asking about.
The DoL promises that it won’t 'pursue enforcement actions against any plan fiduciary based on a failure to comply with those final rules'.
"One real risk looms even larger than the pandemic and could have even more grave human and economic costs than those we have witnessed these last eight months. That risk arises from climate change"
Identifying asset managers who proclaim ESG, but don’t live it, is not so easy. Investors are pouring assets into ESG-labelled investment products, and asset managers are churning out new products in response.
"Asset managers responsible for trillions in investments, issuers, lenders, credit rating agencies, analysts, index providers, stock exchanges – nearly all types of market participants – use ESG as a significant driver in decision-making, capital allocation, pricing, and value assessments"

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