Morningstar “untagged” 1,000+ self-declared Article 8 or 9 funds from its sustainable funds universe, a clear message that a regulatory bare-minimum approach to #ESG can get you in hot water.
☑️ We draw three conclusions from this:
➡️ The simple self-classification of a product as Article 8 or even 9 without tangible ESG impact on the product’s strategy and investment approach is not sufficient;
➡️ Morningstar’s move hints a the future direction of travel by setting a scene for the wider public to scrutinize ESG claims and standardized disclosure language without meaningful substance; and
➡️ It puts pressure on asset managers claiming a product is Article 8 whilst not meeting Morningstar’s (and/or other) criteria. These untagged funds will need a very good explanation to clients, investors and distributors as to why their self-classification is still credible, and that they aren't greenwashing.”
☑️ We believe that the following points are crucial success factors:
➡️ A careful analysis and clarity in terms of ESG capabilities with cost/benefit and risk mitigation in mind;
➡️ A clear ESG path for the entire organization;
➡️ A clear articulation of the value proposition at the firm and product level.
After the initial hype and the subsequent scrutiny, there is a real opportunity for those who take ESG seriously and are able to clearly articulate the ESG value proposition of their firm products.
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