The $225.3bn (€181.6bn) California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) has selected eight ESG-focused asset managers – who will get cash to run when “the right investment opportunity” arrives.
It said the group (see below) of US and non-US fund firms is eligible to receive future allocations.
In a statement, the West Sacramento-based asset owner – in the news recently for pressing Apple over smartphone usage – said that it had selected the eight after a “rigorous 15-month process”.
“When the right investment opportunity presents itself, one or more of these managers are eligible to receive a commitment.”
While no investment funds have been committed to any of the managers, they are now eligible to receive an allocation when opportunities arise. Up to $1bn in total may eventually be committed.
CalSTRS, whose Director of Corporate Governance Anne Sheehan recently announced her retirement, is a leading light in the new US Investor Stewardship Group which seeks to create the first Stewardship and Governance Code in the country.
CalSTRS has posted a video in which Corporate Governance Portfolio Managers Brian Rice and Aeisha Mastagni explain why CalSTRS prefers engagement over divestment.They explain that divestment undermines its long-term strategy and increases risk in the portfolio by limiting diversification.
“We know that divestment doesn’t affect social change, Mastagni says, “ and there is no shortage of buyers for our assets.”
“And divestment eliminates CalSTRS’ rights as a shareholder and therefore our ability to advance positive change.” Rice details CalSTRS’ successful engagements on methane gas at Consolidated Edison and Chevron.
Impax Asset Management – Impax Leaders
Impax AM — Impax Water
Generation Asset Management — Asia Fund
Brown Advisory — Large-Cap Sustainable Growth
Schroders — International Equity
Nordea — Emerging Stars Equity
Hermes Investment Management — Global Emerging Markets ESG
Candriam — Sustainable World Equities
Rockefeller — Global Sustainability and Impact Equity