Behind the increased demand for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing is a heightened regulatory focus and a greater need for transparency and standardization. The ESG landscape is evolving at a rapid pace and requires additional resources to meet investor and regulatory expectations.
Our dedicated advisory practice helps firms of all sizes develop and monitor ESG programs to mitigate risk, make informed choices, grow profitably and sustainably, and combat greenwashing in the process.
We provide global compliance and sustainability expertise to review and develop ESG programs based on best practices, current regulatory requirements, and robust oversight processes. Our support covers the following areas:
- Policies & Procedures Development
- Carbon Footprinting
- Net-Zero Management
- DEI Baselining and Training
- Portfolio Performance Assessment
- Reporting (UN PRI, TCFD, SFDR)
- Marketing and Disclosures Review
- Portfolio ESG Risk Monitoring – Private and Public Investors
- Annual Portfolio Carbon Footprinting
- Annual Portfolio Climate Risk Analysis
- Portfolio Testing
- Disclosure Verification
- Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) – Report Readiness and Assurance
- Annual ESG Compliance Review
What is ESG?
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) is a lens that can be applied to any form of investing to consider non-financial factors that are not traditionally reported to assess an investment’s overall worthiness.
In recent years, firms increasingly add ESG metrics to their investment processes to provide for more complete analyses and support better investment decision-making. Discussion of ESG activities is also being added to annual reports and, in some cases, being built into standalone ESG reports.
Covers themes that impact the Earth, both positively and negatively. Includes climate change, natural resources scarcity, pollution and waste, permitting, and environmental opportunities.
Encompasses items relating to the firm’s leadership and board as well as the firm's implementation of ESG policies. Includes board composition, diversity of the board, ethical business practices, lobbying, political contributions, account and tax transparency, and relationships with the SEC and other regulatory bodies.
ESG by the numbers
According to the Morningstar Global Sustainable Fund Flows Report as of October 2020:
Global inflows into sustainable funds were up
in the third quarter of 2020 to USD 80.5 billion
Assets in sustainable funds climbed 19% to
The number of global sustainable funds launched in 3Q 2020 was
breaking the record of 159 launches in Q4 2018
Why work with us?
- Unmatched Expertise: Benefit from a trusted and experienced partner with in-depth knowledge of the market and regulations
- Comprehensive ESG Solution: Support across the spectrum of ESG program maturity in one comprehensive offering
- Stay Ahead of the Shifting Landscape: Balance demands from investors, regulators, and stakeholders while keeping up with constant changes in the ESG space
- Fee Transparency: Predictable fee model helps avoid scope creep – more fee transparency where others may have a daisy-chain of SOWs
What ESG Advisory offers
- Program Management
- Portfolio Company Implementation and Oversight
- Transaction Due Diligence
- Enterprise Level ESG
Environmental Justice – The Investment Risk You May Be Missing
President Biden has made environmental justice a focal point of his administration. Some of his first actions as president were to reorganize environmental justice councils within the federal government and charge them with ensuring all federal agencies adopt the all-of-government approach outlined in his executive order “to secure environmental justice and equitable economic opportunity.” More recently, his COVID-19 stimulus plan and proposed infrastructure plan include unprecedented investments to address historical racial inequities.
Join us as experts from our ESG advisory team explain what environmental justice is, why it warrants such a sweeping approach, how businesses can (or should) be involved, and why investors should care about it.
The FCA’s Business Plan for 2021/22 is now live, reflecting a major shift in policy objectives and a top to bottom review of the FCA’s own objectives and priorities. We outline the key changes and challenges identified, and what they mean for firms.
- Managed Services
This year, heads of state, climate experts and campaigners will meet at the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference (COP26) to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change, but which developments are likely to be most important from the perspective of the financial services industry? And what does all this mean for firms in the future?
Dani Williams, Senior Principal Consultant for our ESG Advisory Division discusses the immediate challenges the SFDR regulation brings, and what needs to be changed.
Following the release of the CFA Institute's Exposure Draft of ESG Disclosure Standards for Investment Products, we outline what the standards include, the related timelines, and what these changes mean for firms.
- GIPS Standards
Reinforcing our commitment to work towards implementing ESG considerations in the global investment processes and a more sustainable financial system, we have become a signatory to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).
- ACA News
Following the SEC’s 2021 Examination Priorities, ESG examinations are in full swing, and most advisers are candidates. In this compliance alert, we outline what the regulator expects and what your next steps should be - whether you have ESG strategies or not.
Our leadership team
Dan is a Partner and senior practitioner heading the ESG advisory practice.
Crista is a Partner overseeing the ESG advisory practice and brings over 15 years of experience in investment performance consulting.
Alyssa is a Managing Director of Client Development leading growth and client engagement for ACA’s ESG advisory practice.
Jessica is a Director and the technical lead on all environmental work undertaken by the ESG team.
Peyun Kok is a Director and the technical lead on all social work undertaken by the ESG team.
Julian Seelan is a Director and lead for technology services within the ESG Advisory practice.
Dani is a Principal Consultant and the technical lead on all governance work undertaken by the ESG team.
Senior management in Financial Services firms have a responsibility to ensure their employees have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the Regulatory environment they are working in. This knowledge helps in emphasising the need for compliance with policies and procedures in order to protect the firm and the individual from failing to “do the right thing”.
The role of the Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) is a mandatory position in all firms in the Financial Services Industry. This reflects the statutory objective that the Regulator(s) have for ensuring that firms behave with “Integrity”, particularly relating to financial crime prevention. The MLRO therefore plays a significant role in assisting Senior management to ensure that systems and controls relating to anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the risk of terrorist financing (CTF) are appropriate and effective. This course provides practical advice and guidance on the responsibilities of the MLRO, what is expected by the Regulators, both of the Senior Management and the MLRO, and how those responsibilities can be achieved. It should be noted that attendance at this course does assume a good knowledge of the UK’s AML/CTF regulations.