Federated conducted face-to-face meetings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) commissioners and with the GAO (U.S. Government Accountability Office). With the SEC, Federated reviewed an analysis done by two legal scholars on the law and economics of ESG investing by a fiduciary subject to U.S. law in order to provide a framework for discussion. With GAO, Federated was asked to comment for a study it was conducting regarding ESG disclosures by publicly traded companies.
U.S. Fiduciary Law
Federated Hermes met with the SEC commissioners regarding fiduciary law, ERISA and ESG investing. Federated engaged two recognized experts in U.S. trust and fiduciary law to frame the conditions under which they believe ESG investing (defined as negative screening, ESG integration or impact investing) is possible by a fiduciary subject to U.S. law. Their legal and scholarly analysis of the law and economics of ESG investing by a fiduciary subject to U.S. law provided a framework for discussion.
ESG Disclosure by Publicly Traded Companies
Federated participated in conversations with the GAO regarding a study the agency was conducting examining issues related to ESG disclosures by publicly traded companies. Discussions focused on the extent to which public companies address ESG matters in their public disclosures, the extent to which investors seek greater disclosure, options for Congress to consider and how U.S. ESG disclosure differs from those of other countries.