On March 10, the ACC Docket published an article on ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) factors co-authored by Hirschler investment management practice group leader Ed Klees and Michael Cappucci, managing director of compliance and sustainable investing at Harvard Management Company. The article highlights new attention by institutional investors to civic responsibility issues affecting their financial advisors and the companies in which they invest. ACC Docket is the flagship publication of the U.S. Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) with a circulation of over 1.2 million legal professionals.
On the heels of the presidential election of 2020 and events at the Capitol on January 6, institutions are examining how their investments might be applied toward greater civic responsibility in the public and private markets. In the public markets, investors are asking to what extent they can spur good civic practices of companies. In private markets, where investors’ rights are different, many investors are asking how they can encourage stronger civic commitments from private equity, VC and hedge fund firms.
Klees and Cappucci say, “The road to improvement is the same for investors in all markets: For financial and investment firms to bring a greater sense of purpose to their businesses, and specifically, better transparency in the deployment of corporate funds in political discourse, either by changes in self-governance or regulatory force.”
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Stephanie A. Hood