BlackRock CEO Larry Fink may have found the will to move his firm forward in environmental, social and governance investing, but it appears, at least according to a Core Data Research study, that global fund buyers for the most part aren’t following suit.
The online survey of 200 professional buyers done last November found only 7% of these firms state that ESG/sustainability factors are among their most important selection drivers. Track record was the most important criteria to 60%, followed by investment philosophy (53%) and investment selection process (51%).
North America and the United Kingdom were most likely — 9% and 10% respectively — to put ESG factors higher in the selection process. No Asian or Latin American fund advisors listed ESG as one of their top three criteria.
The study also found that a about a fifth of managers overall cited manager tenure (23%) and asset manager reputation (21%) as important factors.
“This shows how professional buyers are looking beyond those factors associated with the manager and are instead focusing on fund-specific dynamics,” according to Craig Phillips, head of international for Core Data Research.
The study also found that fund managers are keeping close tabs on active managers. For example, more than half of the managers did a comprehensive review of active managers monthly (18%) or quarterly (34%). UK and Latin American managers seem to be more aggressive, close to 75% doing monthly or quarterly reviews, while less than 50% of North American and European fund managers do the same.