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Cash & Liquidity Management
Published  11 MIN READ

The Truth About ESG Investing

Jonathan Curry, Global Chief Investment Officer, Liquidity and Chief Investment Officer Americas, HSBC Asset Management (HSBC AM), offers a no-holds-barred view of the sector’s approach to ESG investing as it is today, and how it is changing to meet new investor needs.

ESG investing practices can be traced back to the 1960s when socially responsible investors began purposefully but unilaterally excluding stocks from their portfolios where certain business activities did not sit well with their ethical stance.

In 2004, a formalised approach emerged when, supported by the UN Global Compact, the International Finance Corporation and the Swiss government, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan asked a group of more than 50 CEOs of major financial institutions if they would be willing to participate in a joint initiative to integrate ESG thinking into the capital markets.

Today, while ESG is increasingly a foreground activity for many investors, generally for corporate treasurers the building of ESG drivers into investment policy and investment decisions is still very much at an early stage, says Curry.