August 18, 2020
ESG Principles as a Cornerstone of Our New Normal Environmental Social and Governance
Last week, the law offices of Winston & Strawn announced the launch of its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Advisory Team. Co-chaired by Houston-based partners Mike Blankenship and Eric Johnson, the ten-member advisory team includes Mike Melbinger, a specialist in executive compensation and employee benefit programs and a frequently published subject matter expert here on Deferred Compensation News.
July 21, 2020
Partisan Politics and Proposed ESG Investing Restrictions by the DOL Environmental Social and Governance
Proposed Department of Labor regulations on ESG investing (environmental, social, and governance) by retirement plans have drawn criticism from thirteen members of the US Senate. In a comment letter dated July 15, 2020, Independent party member, Senator Bernie Sanders, along with 12 Democratic Senators*, expressed “deep concern” over the DOL’s proposal “discouraging retirement plan fiduciaries from considering environmental, social, or governance (ESG) criteria in their investment decisions relating to ERISA-governed** retirement plans.”
June 23, 2020
What Does ESG Stand For? What Does ESG Mean for Business and Investors? Environmental Social and Governance
ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance. Established to help define the environmental, social, and corporate accountability a company demonstrates and can document, the term ESG is often used to help prospective investors and current stockholders assess how a company aligns with the investor’s own principles of what is socially and environmentally ethical and acceptable. This report offers a timeline of how this direction has emerged and why it may presently represent one of the strongest drivers of U.S. economic direction both now and for the foreseeable future.
June 05, 2020
Mandated ESG Disclosure in Proxy Statements Appears to be Only a Matter of Time Environmental Social and Governance
Mandated ESG Disclosure (Environmental, Social, Governance*) by publicly held companies moves closer to reality. The Investor-as-Owner Subcommittee of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investor Advisory Committee’s has voted 14-4 to approve a recommendation that urges the SEC to update the reporting requirements for public companies to include material, decision-useful environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. The form the mandate may take still leaves much to be defined. Although widely supported as a theoretical concept, determining framework, content, disclosure formats, risks, and other aspects of standardization is no easy task. As SEC Chairman Jay Clayton succinctly expressed in his ”Remarks at Meeting of the Asset Management Advisory Committee,” on May 21, 2020, “… I look forward to hearing from the Committee’s recently-formed subcommittees focused on private investments and on environmental, social, and governance (or, “ESG”) issues. I have spoken at length on issues in both areas.** I believe I have made it clear that, while I believe that in many cases one or more “E” issues, “S” issues, or “G” issues are material to an investment decision, I have not seen circumstances where combining an analysis of E, S and G together, across a broad range of companies, for example with