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Digital Subscriptions > The Hedge Fund Journal > Issue 115 - July | August 2016 > ESG And The Search For A Materiality-Based Alpha

ESG And The Search For A Materiality-Based Alpha

Tracking sustainability and ESG signals in real time

There is a palpable uptick in investor demand for portfolios built on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Today, over half of the world’s institutional assets under management ($59 trillion) incorporate ESG criteria in their portfolio or have pledged that they will incorporate ESG criteria in the near future - up 45% in the past four years. 72% of individual investors - especially next generation investors -believe that companies benefit when they focus on sustainability. In fact, multiple studies point out the clear connection between ESG and long-term Corporate Financial Performance (CFP).

However, the massive and steadily growing volume of ESG-related information presents a challenge. Manually reading and analysing volumes of ever-changing unstructured data sources continues to be extremely costly and slow, human analysts inevitably bring a subjective point of view to their undertaking. The methodologies used, analysis and recommendations typically lack transparency. Short-term volatility that significantly impacts a stock is missed using human only-based methods, or reporting happens long after the fact without any actionable or negative impact on the managed portfolio.

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INFORMING THE HEDGE FUND COMMUNITY With access to some of the industry’s biggest names and an astute and talented group of writers and contributors, The Hedge Fund Journal has established itself as a trusted source of information on the hedge fund industry.