Having a clearly defined environment, social and governance
(ESG) policy is now a key factor in attracting investors to a fund,
a London funds audience has heard.
Nearly 500 delegates attended the Guernsey Funds Forum in London
last week [12 May] to hear a panel of leading funds experts debate
investor perspectives, including a focus on ESG investment.
Tim Hughes, who leads PwC's European team advising on management
incentives in private equity, told the audience that ESG had become
increasingly important in investor relations.
"You won't raise some of the large funds these days
without dealing with ESG within the PPM [Private Placement
Memorandum]. Many investors would actually withdraw from funds if
they're not dealing with ESG properly and I think it's
equally important to the funds themselves - it's not just the
portfolio companies," said Mr Hughes.
"Many of these large funds have their own brand to protect
these days. If something goes wrong in one of their portfolio
companies their brand will be damaged. You cannot do business these
days without having a policy around ESG and certainly, from the PwC
perspective, we've got about 300 people sitting here in London
working on this area and we've got a whole global practice
working around it."
Adam Black, Head of ESG and Sustainability at Coller
Capital, explained that when he entered the private equity
space with another firm eight years ago he was among the first
in-house heads of sustainability.
"Not because our LPs were pushing for that interestingly -
they are now - but because the firm were very active with their
portfolio. They recognised that there was a valid creation
opportunity, a risk management opportunity, a value protection
opportunity and that it was a skillset that we hadn't deployed,
beyond getting in external consultants to look at these issues at
due diligence, rather than the holding period," said Mr
He added that in the current market firms could not afford to
ignore ESG as it would cost them more in the long-term, not only in
terms of the intangible value of protecting their brand's
reputation, but also from achieving a successful IPO.
Blaise Duault, Head of Compliance and Public Affairs at PAI
Partners, was also on the panel. He has chaired the French AFIC
ESG Commission since 2015 and agreed that ESG was playing an
ever-increasing role in investment analysis and decision
"Two-thirds of our investment base is sensitive to ESG
issues. It was one-third five years ago and it is expanding,
expanding and expanding," said Mr Duault, who added that ESG
could also be a way to differentiate between many competing funds
that have the same performance.
In addition to the panel session on investor perspectives, the
Guernsey Funds Forum hosted a keynote speech from Luke Johnson,
Chairman of private equity house Risk Capital Partners and former
Chairman of Channel 4 Television, as well as a second panel session
on innovation in the funds arena.
The event, which took place at etc. venues, 155 Bishopsgate,
London, was hosted by Guernsey Finance in conjunction with the Guernsey Investment
Fund Association (GIFA). It was moderated by ITV News anchor
Alastair Stewart OBE.
Guernsey Finance Chief Executive Dominic Wheatley said the
calibre of the speakers and the content of the panel sessions, in
addition to Mr Johnson's keynote speech, had all contributed to
a successful event.
"As a whole, the event demonstrated an ongoing commitment
to the Guernsey funds sector which in turn reflects the
Island's continued relevance in the international funds
industry. It was very encouraging to hear from a number of
panellists about how Guernsey continues to evolve its offering and
is therefore able to ensure it meets industry needs."
Many people are baffled by trusts, the purpose of which they don't fully comprehend. Some even regard them with suspicion, as tools of of opaque tax evasion strategies of a type favoured by wealthy individuals.
We were recently instructed by a Bank in relation to a regulatory matter. The Bank had made a suspicious activity report to the Financial Investigation Unit ("FIU") due to their concerns about the potential source of funds in an account.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).