'Largest of its kind' ESG investment strategy research launched by Tisa and PLSA

TISAtech, part of The Investing and Saving Alliance (Tisa), has launched the 'largest of its kind' research into environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment strategies, in collaboration with the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA).

The platform has sent a request for information (RFI) to over 1,700 asset managers to gather information on ESG issues facing investors and their ESG-centric investing strategies, highlighting this as “the largest and most substantive research of its kind to date”.

The research, which is hoped to become an annual exercise, is being undertaken in collaboration with the PLSA, while the RFI itself was distribute via investRFP.com.

A key aim of the research is to share insights with trustees of UK pension schemes and asset owners to support the active management of their exposure to climate change.

This is in line with the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures recommendations outlined by the Pensions Minister earlier this year, and is expected to help pension trustees perform their duties, including the governance of climate change as a major financial risk to their investments.

Data from the research will be used to highlight those asset managers that demonstrate a commitment to ESG-focused competencies and capabilities to UK pension trustees and asset owners.

The findings from the research will also be published in a report to all key industry policymakers and stakeholders as a mechanism to drive change and greater engagement across the industry.

TISAtech CEO, Keith Phillips, emphasised that the worlds of investment and ESG are "no longer distinct", stating that sustainability is now at the "core" of any strategy in any portfolio.

He continued: “TISAtech will help financial institutions navigate the complex and evolving policy, regulatory, and business landscapes to better understand the risks and opportunities related to climate change and sustainability.

“With increasingly exacting reporting frameworks, a notable cultural shift in the pensions industry, and the rising impact of climate change on equities and funds, an industry-wide shift towards ESG must be made now if financial service institutions are to keep up and limit the risk posed to members’ future retirement incomes.

“This evaluation, which we hope will become an annual exercise, will support the pensions and wider financial services industry to navigate new risks and will ensure transparency.

“It will soon become very clear who is adapting and performing well and who is not.”

Commenting on the announcement, PLSA head of DB, LGPS and standards, Joe Dabrowski, agreed that pension schemes are "keenly aware" of the impact of climate change on their investments and on saver outcomes.

He added: “When investing in a climate aware way, and adapting to a fast changing regulatory environment they also need the services and support of asset managers.

“This results of this work has the potential to create unprecedented transparency in the industry. I know pension funds and key industry policymakers will be interested to see the report of findings.”

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