Global investor interest in sustainable and responsible investment continues to accelerate at a rapid pace. The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) estimates $23 trillion in global assets are managed under responsible investment strategies, representing a 25% increase since 2014. Responsible investment strategies consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in portfolio selection criteria and management with the belief that better corporate ESG profiles result in fewer disasters and corporate scandals. Investment policies that integrate ESG criteria tend to express investor values specific to weapons, carbon emissions, fossil fuel reserves, labor conditions, human rights, corporate governance, executive compensation and other concerns aimed at solving social or environmental problems. Corporate engagement and shareholder activism are also strategies investors are increasingly using to influence corporate behavior driven by ESG guidelines.

With over 20 years of actively protecting and promoting the rights of institutional investors and public entities, Grant & Eisenhofer has built its legacy in corporate governance with an unwavering commitment to responsible investment. We continue to build on our history with a new initiative designed to address the increasing dialogue on environmental, social and governance criteria within the institutional investment community. The mission of the Grant & Eisenhofer ESG Institute is to provide thought leadership on legal issues related to ESG considerations and socially responsible investment. Key members of the global investment and ESG communities will participate on an Oversight Board to provide strategic insight and development for the Institute.

The Oversight Board members have been thoughtfully selected to provide a diverse range of perspectives, experience and backgrounds that will collectively direct the creation and future evolvement of the ESG Institute. Members bring global experience from asset managers, public pension funds and non-profits.

Some of the legal issues the ESG Institute will focus on include:The ESG Institute will meet periodically with high quality events both in the US and Europe to provide continuity and a forum for engagement to connect like-minded participants and organizations. The Institute will seek regular feedback from participants and the Oversight Board.

Our objective is to continuously address the legal issues that decision makers and stakeholders in the investment community are grappling with in implementing sustainability considerations and responsible investment criteria.

* Source: 2016 Global Sustainable Investment Review
   released by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance