In brief: Sacramento County hears ESG and impact presentation by Verus

Investment consultant advised Sacramento to consider making an ESG investment policy statement.

Despite the ESG backlash in the US, not all states consider the term a dirty word: Sacramento County Employees’ Retirement System, for example, is open to learning more about ESG and impact investing.

The $11.6 billion pension heard a presentation by investment consultant Verus Advisory on the topic at a board meeting last week. Some highlights:

  • SCERS has “no formal policy or process” for ESG or sustainable investing, the presentation stated.
  • Fossil fuels are permitted within SCERS’ investment policy, although it has “modest” exposure to fossil fuels in its private markets investments.
  • SCERS’ fund manager due diligence includes diversity-related questions “within manager organisations and investment teams”.

Verus’s presentation concluded by suggesting that SCERS could develop an ESG investment policy statement as a next step.

“Since values and morals change from individual to individual, and organization to organization, ESG-specific and socially responsible investing are often viewed as cloudy and confusing areas,” the presentation stated – although Verus also noted that ESG can be a matter of risk mitigation.