The surge in popularity of funds aimed at tackling environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues is undeniable. However, in this dynamic landscape, alternative asset managers and investors face many intricate challenges that demand careful consideration. Preqin recently hosted a webinar to present key findings from its ESG in Alternatives 2023 report and provide insights from industry experts. The program commenced with insights from Rachel Dabora, research insights analyst at Preqin, and the panel discussion was moderated by Soojin Kim, assistant vice president and head of ESG research at Preqin. The panel comprised experts with a range of roles and responsibilities, including Jaclyn Bouchard, Prequin executive vice president, head of ESG solutions and corporate responsibility; Yovanka Bylander, head of sustainability at TimesSquare Capital Management; Kirkland & Ellis partner Jennie Morawetz; and Michael Viehs, global head of sustainable investing at Partners Capital. This first article in a two‑part series explores the intricacies of fundraising and pivotal themes shaping the ESG landscape. It covers various topics, including PE’s dominance; the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022; and considerations such as climate adaptation, biodiversity, human rights and diversity, equity and inclusion within the ESG environment. The second article
will provide a comprehensive overview of the opportunities and challenges facing alternative asset managers and investors navigating the complex world of ESG, addressing the distinction between ESG integration and impact investing strategies and identifying key reporting challenges and regulatory developments. For additional insights from Morawetz, see our two-part series on mitigating climate risk: “Advantages to PE Firms Pursuing Climate Risk Programs and Pitfalls to Avoid
” (Jun. 30, 2020); and “Solutions for PE Firms to Develop a Physical Climate Risk Program
” (Jul. 14, 2020).