JPMorgan endorses ‘sustainable’ investing as a way to outperform the market

marketwatch.com | May 11, 2018

By RYAN VLASTELICA

The idea of centering one’s investments around moral considerations has been gaining steam in the U.S., with such strategies attracting new attention and inflows, and it is starting to receive some high-profile endorsements from some of Wall Street’s biggest names.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM, -0.83% is the latest financial institution to advocate for so-called “sustainable” investing, writing that it was mature enough to be considered a viable strategy on returns grounds, as opposed to a niche option for investors who want to put their money in places that don’t violate their personal beliefs.

“We find that ESG investment no longer requires foregoing returns as companies that are socially responsible are likely to lead in overall management capabilities,” JP Morgan wrote. ESG refers to environmental, social, and corporate governance, or the three primary screens that are used in evaluating securities on sustainable metrics.

“ESG investing is now moving into the mainstream and gravitating from negative screening of sinful industries to more quantitative, data-driven and index approaches as the availability and quality of ESG metrics and reporting have increased,” the investment bank wrote. Socially responsible investing “recognizes the fiduciary role for companies and issuers to act in the best long-term interests of beneficiaries.”

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