Generation next: The future of responsible investing

Exciting opportunities if you look beyond the ‘ESG backlash’ in the US

Rose Beale, Findlay Park
Rose Beale

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In the first Q&A of this new series showing how the rising stars of asset management view the world, Findlay Park Partners responsible investment lead Rose Beale discusses her time covering the US equity space so far

Q: Which asset classes, sectors or strategies are attracting your attention and why?

There is a well-publicised ‘ESG backlash’ in the US, focused particularly on aspects of net zero and diversity, equity and inclusion. But when you look beyond that, there are a lot of exciting opportunities. The Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are providing real stimulus for carbon-reduction technologies and are also benefitting some of the US states that have historically led on conventional energy.

See also: ESG Out Loud: Interview with Chris Skidmore

According to US government data, the clean energy sector now accounts for more than 40% of all energy jobs in the US, with the south and mid-west states having announced the highest number of new projects.

In responsible and sustainable investment, we talk about a ‘just transition’ – the idea there should be widely dispersed economic benefits from climate transition. It seems the US is really starting to implement this, which is an important step to future proof and start to depoliticise the climate in the US, helping to provide a more stable sustainable investment backdrop.

See also: Mark Northway: The subtle signs that ESG is coming of age

Q: How do you see sustainable and ESG-oriented investing evolving from here? What will be different about the investment sector a decade from now?

In terms of the ‘future’ of responsible and sustainable investment, the next few years are critical. On the one hand we need to rebuild trust and consensus, as well as maturing in some important respects. Language and intentions need to become more precise (for example, being clear that ESG integration is not the same as sustainable or impact investing).

To read more, visit the September edition of Portfolio Adviser Magazine

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