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On April 9, 2021, the Division of Examinations of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a Risk Alert that highlighted its observations from its recent examinations of investment advisers, registered investment companies and private funds offering ESG products and services. The Risk Alert also provides observations of effective practices.

ESG investing

The past few weeks have seen a flurry of ESG-related announcements coming from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Acting Chair and staff. The most recent press release announced that the SEC has created a Climate and ESG Task Force in the Division of Enforcement:

[T]he Climate and ESG Task Force will develop initiatives to proactively identify ESG-related misconduct.  The task force will also coordinate the effective use of Division resources, including through the use of sophisticated data analysis to mine and assess information across registrants, to identify potential violations.
The initial focus will be to identify any material gaps or misstatements in issuers’ disclosure of climate risks under existing rules.  The task force will also analyze disclosure and compliance issues relating to investment advisers’ and funds’ ESG strategies.

SEC registrants may be wondering if these announcements change their legal obligations and what actions they should take in response in order to ensure compliance. We discuss the implications for registrants in this Blog Post.

Continue Reading US SEC Announces the Creation of a Climate and ESG Task Force