What’s the outlook of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing under the Trump administration?
It was reported within hours of President Donald Trump being sworn in that the climate change page of the White House websitewas taken down, as were nearly all mentions of climate change.
“If that’s any indication … is ESG simply out of step with business, the electorate, with the movement of the [government]?” Paul Britt, an analyst at FactSet, asked during a panel discussion on ESG and ETFs at the Inside ETFs conference.
Conor Platt, co-founder and CEO of Etho Capital, isn’t too worried. Etho Capital is an active investment manager that creates strategies that deliver financial performance in combination with greater ESG sustainability.
In fact, Platt said, since Trump’s inauguration Etho Capital has “strangely outperformed more.”
“What’s true is that consumers vote every day,” Platt said. “Businesses vote every day. They buy high-quality products. Whatever the energy sector does – which seems to be the most concern with Trump related to ESG – I mean, we’re really not very concerned about it.”
According to Platt, companies that are “most efficient” in their supply chain of operation will do well in a low-energy environment and a high-energy environment.
“I’m not quite certain – from what I’ve heard – how the energy sector’s going to do under Trump,” Platt added. “It sounds like less regulation and perhaps stable pricing, who knows.”
However, Platt said he also imagines energy prices might go lower, and “those energy companies might not do as well.”
On the flip side, Etho can also use data to short companies.
“And [there’s] plenty of energy companies to short,” Platt said.