How ESG Disclosure Requirements Under the E.U.’s SFDR May Impact U.S. Fund Managers

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are squarely in the SEC’s sights, although there is some disagreement among SEC Commissioners regarding the appropriate regulatory approach. To date, the SEC has not imposed any mandatory ESG disclosure rules, although Chair Gary Gensler has asked SEC staff to develop a mandatory climate risk disclosure rule proposal by the end of 2021. European regulators have been quicker on the draw, however, and a number of regulations have been implemented, including the E.U.’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). Although most immediately relevant to E.U. fund managers, there are a number of situations (e.g., marketing in the E.U. via a platform) in which SFDR may impact U.S. fund managers and require them to become compliant. To discuss the potential application of SFDR to U.S. fund managers and provide an overview of the regulation’s disclosure requirements, Akin Gump hosted a webinar featuring partners Barbara Niederkofler and Ezra Zahabi. This article summarizes the key takeaways and insights from the discussion. For further commentary from Akin Gump partners, see our two-part series on forming private credit funds: “Key Differences in Fund Lifecycle and the Use of Subscription Facilities Versus PE Funds” (May 12, 2020); and “How Material Variations in Fee Structures and Recycled Proceeds Compare to PE Funds” (May 19, 2020).

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