It has been a month since our ‘Impact and ESG Investing in 2021’ blog post and we have already seen some promising updates on what it is looking like so far. In October 2020, US SIF published the report, Toward a Just and Sustainable Economy, stating policy recommendations for the next presidential administration. Earlier this year, to further encourage the adoption of these recommendations, a sign-on letter was also proposed.
CCM signed the letter on January 13 as we too believe in the potential for acceleration and growth of impact and ESG investing which address substantial societal needs. This week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took a step closer to adopting such policies and created a new position in the office of Acting Chair Allison Herren Lee, that focuses on ESG issues. Earlier this week, it was announced that Satyam Khanna was selected for this position and named the first senior policy advisor for climate and ESG by the SEC. “In this new role, Mr. Khanna will advise the agency on environmental, social, and governance matters and advance related new initiatives across its offices and divisions.” – said Acting Chair Allison Herren Lee.1
Having previously worked with the SEC and the United Nations Principle for Responsible Investing (UN PRI), Khanna brings new possibilities to the future of impact and ESG investing.2 Another silver lining for the impact and ESG arena is the announcement that the Biden-Harris administration will review federal regulations that tackle climate change including the new Department of Labor (DOL) rule that limits the use of ESG funds in 401(k) retirement plans.3 Though it might take up to 18 months to reverse this specific rule, we are confident that impact and ESG investing could expand even further in 2021 than it ever has before.
We are monitoring the ongoing discussions regarding additional stimulus for those most hurt by the pandemic and we hope that additional aid will soon be provided for those in need.