Joshua Lichtenstein Shares Insight Into Anti-ESG Measures in Investment News

In The News
April 10, 2023

Anti-ESG pushback has been occurring across states and introduced in legislation over the past several months.

Employment, executive compensation and employee benefits partner and head of the firm's ERISA fiduciary practice Joshua Lichtenstein, told Investment News that, “so much of what’s being branded ‘ESG’ funds or ‘ESG’ managers in this debate, these are not impact funds — they’re mainstream funds. When you take away access to larger institutional asset managers … you start losing economies of scale.You also start losing access to certain types of strategies that may not be available at smaller managers.”

“There are diehards who are [connected] to certain narratives, and I’m not sure that the data is going to affect them much,” Joshua said. “A lot of [Republican] state legislators come from a more traditional Republican background, being wary of creating more business regulations and putting a hand on the scale of the market.”

It’s also notable that efforts in Democratic-majority states have largely favored ESG considerations for public assets but have not focused on restricting data that can be used for informing investment decisions, he said. Because of that, “there may be room for common ground there with many of the red states.”