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Fiduciary Duty in Support of Responsible Investment: Joint work with Harvard

last modified Apr 30, 2015 12:57 PM
14 January 2015 – Conventional interpretations of fiduciary duty have often been a barrier to responsible investment, holding back the alignment of investments with long-term value creation. However, recent work in this area has emphasised the congruence of responsible investment with the legal obligations of fiduciary duty encompassed in its duties of loyalty, care, and prudence.


Rebecca O’Brien Radford, Assistant General Counsel of Loomis Sayles and Carlos Joly, CISL Fellow, were invited to attend a conference held by Harvard Kennedy School entitled ‘Fiduciary Duty in Support of Responsible Investment: Has an Inflection Point Arrived?’ The conference took place on 14 January 2015, and brought together practitioners and scholars working with fiduciary duty to take an in-depth look at potential strategies for its use in improving the social utility of finance. 

With the aim of helping to set this new business norm, the Investment Leaders Group (ILG) is developing practice-oriented presentations for trustees of pension funds and investment consultants to enhance their understanding of interpretation of fiduciary duty regarding Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in the USA and how it can be interpreted to allow for, or even require, ESG integration. The work aims to communicate its compatibility with responsible investment, and the potential for ESG integration that this brings. The briefing will be used by ILG members to engage with consultants and clients to facilitate the discussion with the targeted audience that fiduciary duty is broad enough to incorporate ESG matters into oversight of the assets with which they have been entrusted.

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Investment Leaders Group members. Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

 *HSBC Bank (UK) Pension Scheme



Kajetan Czyz, Senior Programme Manager, Investment Leaders Group