A checklist of 10 questions to ask an ESG fund manager

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Here’s an excerpt from this note by Harald Walkate about his article that has a nifty “Conviction & Narrative” graphic that contains a checklist of 10 questions to ask the manager of an ESG fund:

The idea of the C&N framework is that many interested in sustainable investing need assistance in assessing how genuine funds are, because ESG labels aren’t very helpful. It offers ten, more qualitative questions clients can ask asset managers to determine “what’s ESG” about the fund and if it meets their objectives.

One of the people to share my post was Alex Edmans, professor of finance at London Business School, who said: “(This) highlights that there are many different sustainable investment strategies. Greenwashing isn’t performing badly on one-size-fits-all metrics (…) but not following your stated strategy.”

In other words, the framework can also be used by asset managers to demonstrate they are “doing ESG” right – where “right” is defined as “having a compelling strategy and showing that you’re following it.” Whether or not they actually get asked, they should be prepared for the C&N questions: What are you trying to achieve with your ESG strategy? How are you trying to achieve it? If you use a label or classification, why *that* one? In short, “are you saying what you do, and doing what you say?”