ESG Leaders: State Street’s Rick Lacaille on his new ESG role

Investment chief takes company-wide ESG role

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Rick Lacaille, the Global CIO of State Street Global Advisors, has taken the unusual step of becoming State Street’s first Senior Investment Advisor and will oversee ESG across the whole of the wider State Street Corporation, reporting to CEO Ronald O’Hanley.

In this video interview with RI’s Daniel Brooksbank, Lacaille explains his new role, the way investors perceive and manage risk and the current boom in all things ESG.

Asked about whether the global pandemic is a rehearsal for climate change, Lacaille says: “Is it a dry run of climate change? Climate change is already happening so it’s not as if we are waiting for it and suddenly it’s going to be upon us. We are already seeing the climate actually changing.”

But the pandemic shows how fast things can go “if the pressure is really high”.

And he rejects the idea of ESG ‘hype’, saying it has got an appropriate amount of attention from end investors and issuers. But he sees a market inefficiency where investors are not fully discounting non-financial factors.

He also addresses ‘stakeholder capitalism’, long-termism and the role of capital markets.