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Letter from Fiona Reynolds, PRI

Dear US Signatories, Since its inception, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has prioritized a market-led evolution toward long-term responsible investment. PRI remains committed to active, ongoing engagement with signatories regarding significant matters affecting financial markets including environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Today the evidence of the urgent need to address sustainability issues, such as climate change, is incontrovertible—we no longer have the luxury of waiting for all market participants to accept their responsibility to contribute to a sustainable economy. In many markets we are now witnessing financial policy-makers and regulators acting wit

Signs ESG might be facing headwinds

Investor confidence in the principles of ESG investing appeared to wane in 2019. Recent survey data show that a greater portion of respondents predict that their ESG investments will underperform their non-ESG portfolios. The survey, conducted by RBC Global Asset Management and which polled almost 800 investment professionals across a diverse group of industry participants, gave further insights into a possible growing skepticism about ESG. Additionally, there was an uptick in respondents saying they don't look at ESG factors in their decision-making process and fewer said ESG was mandated down from boards or stakeholders. However, a greater percentage of respondents acknowledged that ESG mi

Secret Deal Helped Housing Industry Stop Tougher Rules on Climate Change

WASHINGTON — A secret agreement has allowed the nation’s homebuilders to make it much easier to block changes to building codes that would require new houses to better address climate change, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times. The written arrangement, in place for years and not previously disclosed, guarantees industry representatives four of the 11 voting seats on two powerful committees that approve building codes that are widely adopted nationwide. The pact has helped enable the trade group that controls the seats, the National Association of Home Builders, to prevent changes that would have made new houses in much of the country more energy-efficient or more resilient

Pending Federal ESG Legislation Could Yield Significant and Step-wise Change

New ESG bills pending in Congress represent a potentially significant and step-wise change in the status quo with regard to federal regulation, Kirkland & Ellis’s Ali Zaidi says in Part 2 of a series on ESG regulation. Together, they show the readying of a new playbook that looks more like what investors have become familiar with in Europe and Japan. Increasing interest in sustainable investment has spurred a growing community of executives, investors, and practitioners focused on the management of capital using environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. Yet, the growth and evolution, at least in the United States, has failed to usher certainty and clarity, especially for newcomers

INSIGHT: States Take Lead on ESG Investment Regulations While Feds Stand Still

The U.S. is witnessing a growing state-level patchwork of regulations designed to spur sustainable ESG investments. In Part 1 of a two-part series on ESG, Kirkland & Ellis’s Ali Zaidi says while federal regulators are fairly silent, states seem eager to fill a regulatory signaling void—becoming the stateside regulators to listen to on ESG matters. Discerning investors and fund managers can finally hear stateside regulators signaling on sustainable investment— but only if they are listening in the right places. Today, more than the federal government, certain states are leading on procedural and substantive regulation designed to spur sustainable investment. These states are leaning into the

KPS Capital Partners Simultaneously Closes $6.0 Billion KPS Special Situations Fund V And $1.0 Billi

NEW YORK, Oct. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- KPS Capital Partners, LP ("KPS") announced today that the first and final closings of KPS Special Situations Fund V ("KPS Fund V") and KPS Special Situations Mid-Cap Fund ("KPS Mid-Cap") were simultaneously held on October 15, 2019. KPS Fund V and KPS Mid-Cap, with $7.0 billion in total investor capital commitments, will both focus on control investments in highly complex corporate carve-outs, turnarounds, restructurings, bankruptcies and other special situations. KPS Fund V, with a $5.0 billion target and a $6.0 billion self-imposed hard cap, and KPS Mid-Cap, with a $750 million target and a $1.0 billion self-imposed hard cap, were both oversubscribed

Blue Wolf Capital Partners Acquires Kirlin Design Build

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Blue Wolf Capital Partners (Blue Wolf), a New York-based private equity firm, announced the acquisition of Kirlin Design Build, LLC (KDB), one of the country’s leading engineering and construction companies focused on large, complex federal and private sector projects. Management has partnered with Blue Wolf in this investment to enable KDB to execute on its ambitious strategic plans with a debt-free balance sheet, ample liquidity and strong financial backing. Moving forward, KDB will no longer be affiliated with Kirlin Builders, Kirlin Carolinas, Kirlin Mid-Atlantic or National Fire Protection. To fuel the next phase of the company’s growth, Mike Miller wil

The Carlyle Group, Stellex Capital Complete Acquisition of Vigor, MHI

Global investment firm The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) and private equity firm Stellex Capital Management today announced they have closed on their acquisition of Vigor Industrial LLC and MHI Holdings LLC. In addition, Carlyle and Stellex announced they have appointed Jim Marcotuli as CEO of the newly created company comprising Vigor and MHI, effective today. Marcotuli brings more than 30 years of leadership experience in the defense and manufacturing industries. He has served in a number of executive and operating roles with Carlyle portfolio companies and in industries spanning defense, aerospace, transportation, and automotive. “Vigor and MHI have tremendous potential for growth and I

US market slower to embrace responsible investing

Responsible investment in the US has lagged behind Europe because of an antipathy towards environmental, social and governance factors, according a partner at alternative asset manager, Pantheon. Alex Scott, speaking at a morning briefing, said the US market is still a lot more polarised in its approach to ESG, despite evidence that it does not negatively impact returns. Currently Pantheon has almost 7,000 underlying portfolio companies which have maintained an approximately 12% annualised net asset value growth since the firm signed up to the UN’s Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI) framework in 2007. Half of the world’s institutional capital, some $86.3tn, now belongs to signatories

Responsible investing rapidly becoming critical to institutional investors, according to new Aon sur

TORONTO, Oct. 02, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aon plc, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, today released the results of its 2019 Global Perspectives on Responsible Investing survey and found an enormous uptick in the importance of responsible investing (RI) from institutional investors across geographies, investor types and firm sizes. According to Aon’s survey of nearly 230 investment professionals globally, 85 percent report responsible investing is at least somewhat important to their organization, up from 68 percent in its 2018 survey. This growth occurred across all geographic regions and institutional investor type

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs Wins Sustainable Investing Act, First State ESG Bill in U.S.!

Illinois State Treasurer Michael W. Frerichs crashed the gates of entrenched pension and public investment policy in winning the Sustainable Investing Act, which passed the Illinois legislature and was signed by Governor Pritzker in August, 2019. Public Act 101-473, the first state ESG bill in the U.S., provides that all state and local government entities, including pension funds, that hold and manage public funds should integrate material, relevant, and useful sustainability factors into their policies, processes, and decision-making. The Act provides a stronger focus on labor rights and human capital factors, including responsible contractor policies. “To fulfill our fiduciary duty, eff

ESG Disclosure Simplification Act

The House Financial Services Committee voted today to pass HR 4329, the “ESG Disclosure Simplification Act.” The bill: Requires companies to disclose, in their proxy materials, a discussion of the link between ESG metrics and their long-term business strategy and a description of any process used by the company to determine that connection; Requires the SEC to define ESG metrics and require companies to disclose the metrics along with their audited financial statements; Creates a Sustainable Finance Advisory Committee to make recommendations to the SEC about the ESG metrics that should be disclosed; States that ESG factors, as defined by the SEC, are “de facto” material under securities laws

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