Wolters Kluwer ESG Experts Analyze the SEC Targeting ESG Asset Managers and Fuels Critics

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 12:06 PM PDT

Senior legal analysts explore the latest SEC initiatives around ESG disclosure for asset managers, as well the strident opposition and likely legal challenges the agency's controversial proposals will encounter

NEW YORK, Sept. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ --

What: SEC targets ESG asset managers and fuels critics

Why: As environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment continues to expand, the SEC is trying to bring greater clarity around fund and adviser disclosures for the benefit of investors. Despite an estimated $17.1 trillion in "sustainable" investments at stake, there are few standards for marketing investments that consider environmental, social, and governance factors. Moreover, concerns around greenwashing and exaggerated ESG claims remain a top priority for the SEC as it has stepped up enforcement efforts on this score. Against this background, the SEC has issued two new rulemaking proposals and a request for comment. The comment period for these releases concluded in August.

In a new Strategic Perspective entitled "SEC targets ESG asset managers and fuels critics", Wolters Kluwer legal experts consider the increasingly vocal opponents to ESG investing, as well as examine reactions to the SEC rule proposals, including the likelihood of adoption and legal challenges.

Additionally, the Strategic Perspective includes the views and insights from two of today's leading legal practitioners in the asset management space, Gwen Williamson, partner in the Investment Management group at Perkins Coie, and Howard Sidman, partner in the Financial Markets practice at Jones Day.

Who: Lene Powell, J.D., Senior Legal Analyst; Brad Rosen, J.D., Senior Legal Analyst; and Matthew Garza, J.D., Managing Editor

Like a nutrition label, the SEC's proposed ESG disclosures for advisers and funds aim to give investors greater confidence that ESG claims mean something real. There are disagreements as to specifics, but overall there appears to be broad support for the goal of improving ESG information for investors.
-    Lene Powell, J.D., Senior Legal Analyst

The wide range of public comments received in connection with the SEC's "Names Rule" demonstrates that the war over ESG investing and its regulation is alive and well. While supporters of the SEC's initiative see the proposals as a means to prevent greenwashing and enhancing investor understanding, opponents view the very same proposed rules as furthering confusion, complexity, and devoid of any corresponding benefits to the public.  
-    Brad Rosen, J.D., Senior Legal Analyst

Financial data providers like S&P, Morningstar, and Bloomberg have moved aggressively to meet investor demand for bespoke ESG indexes and other investment products. Their success has earned them attacks from state attorneys general, right-leaning media, Elon Musk, even some academic circles, and now they find the SEC's nose under their tent.
-    Matthew Garza, J.D., Managing Editor

To read "SEC targets ESG asset managers and fuels critics", visit:

Contact: To arrange an interview with Lene Powell, Brad Rosen, Matthew Garza, or other legal experts from Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. on this or any other legal topics, please contact Linda Gharib: lrusmedia@wolterskluwer.com

About Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.

Wolters Kluwer (WKL) is a global leader in professional information, software solutions, and services for the healthcare; tax and accounting; governance, risk, and compliance; and legal and regulatory sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services.

Wolters Kluwer reported 2021 annual revenues of €4.8 billion. The group serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries, and employs approximately 19,800 people worldwide. The company is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands.

Wolters Kluwer shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices. Wolters Kluwer has a sponsored Level 1 American Depositary Receipt (ADR) program. The ADRs are traded on the over-the-counter market in the U.S. (WTKWY).

For more information, visit www.wolterskluwer.com, follow us on LinkedInTwitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Linda Gharib
Director, Brand & Communications
Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.
Tel: +1 (646) 887-7962
Email: lrusmedia@wolterskluwer.com


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