ESG and Qualified Plans: The Who, What, When, Where, Why (and, Most Importantly, How) ERISA Plan Fiduciaries Prudently Consider ESG-Related Investments
Bradford Campbell, Partner, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
Kary Moore, Senior Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President, Federated Hermes
July 15, 2021
While DOL has permitted environmental, social and governance (“ESG”)-like investments by ERISA plans since 1994, the recent “Financial Factors” regulation raised new questions and concerns for ERISA plan fiduciaries. Perceived to be anti-ESG (though the final rule actually was NOT), too many fiduciaries have been left confused and uncertain about the prudence of ESG-related investments. The Biden Administration is moving aggressively to encourage prudent ESG investing, suspending enforcement of the Financial Factors rule and announcing that it will replace the Rule with a new regulation to be proposed in September. This session will examine how DOL has historically viewed ESG-like investments, what the Financial Factors rule actually did, and how fiduciaries should consider ESG investments during the “in-between” period where enforcement of the old rule is suspended but the new rule is not yet written. Join us to learn how to address ESG-related investments today, and what might come next.