Data Snapshot: Anti-ESG backlash won’t deter GPs, finds Coller Capital

A survey of investors in PE funds also found that most US LPs are yet to hire specialist ESG personnel.

The majority of LPs do not expect the ongoing backlash against incorporating ESG considerations into investment decisions to deter fund managers from doing so, according to a new survey from secondaries-focused manager Coller Capital.

The survey canvassed opinion from 110 investors in private equity funds across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Seventy-seven percent of LPs surveyed did not expect fund managers to change the emphasis on ESG in light of the anti-ESG movement in the US. Four percent of respondents expected a large number of GPs to deprioritise ESG.

The report also found that European LPs are much more likely to have hired internal ESG experts than their peers across the Atlantic. Seventy-five percent of European investors have recruited dedicated ESG personnel, per the report, compared to just 21 percent in North America. By contrast, 72 percent of North American LPs have no plans to hire ESG personnel in the future; in Europe, the figure was 20 percent.

The anti-ESG sentiment that has developed in some parts of the US has forced managers to consider how it affects their businesses. A number of large US-listed GPs highlighted the risk to their financial performance posed by the ongoing backlash in their annual Form 10K earlier this year.