April 17, 2023

Fred Reish Addresses ESG Investing With National Association of Plan Advisors

In “As You Sow Claims Plan Sponsor Violated ‘Climate’ Fiduciary Duty,” benefits and executive compensation partner Fred Reish spoke to the National Association of Plan Advisors about As You Sow, a nonprofit shareholder advocacy organization, raising concerns about investment-related climate change issues.

“It is important to keep in mind that As You Sow has an agenda,” Reish said. “While that may be a good agenda, it is not the same as a fiduciary requirement.” He explained that, from an ERISA fiduciary perspective, plans must select investment options with prudent risk and return profiles. 

“A variety of factors can have a material impact on the risk and return profile of an investment,” Reish added. “Where those factors are reasonably [thought] to have a meaningful impact on the risks and returns of investments, they should be considered. But, where a factor does not have that kind of impact, it should not be considered. The importance of any particular factor, and the weight given to it, is in the province of investment professionals.”

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