A new EU Disclosure Regulation EU/2019/2088 ("Disclosure Regulation") on disclosures to be made by asset managers and investment funds relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks has been made.
It forms part of a range of new EU legislative measures focused on sustainable finance.
The European Commission's Action Plan for Sustainable Finance sets out the EU strategy to integrate environmental, social and governance ("ESG") considerations into its financial policy framework and mobilise finance for sustainable growth. In December 2019, as part of this strategy, the Disclosure Regulation entered into force1.
While the Disclosure Regulation introduces requirements for a wide range of entities providing investment management and advisory services to clients, this note focuses on the impact for asset managers (i.e. AIFMs, UCITS management companies and investment firms authorised under MiFID II providing portfolio management services).
The Disclosure Regulation contains requirements that apply to those asset managers directly. It also sets out requirements that apply to any investment funds (or segregated mandates) that they manage.
Additional requirements apply to certain types of ESG-focused funds, namely:
(i) ESG-labelled investment funds (i.e. investment funds which promote environmental or social characteristics);
(ii) Sustainable investment funds (i.e. investment funds with a sustainable investment objective); and
(iii) Carbon reduction investment funds (i.e. investment funds that aim to reduce carbon emissions).
There are three key elements of the Disclosure Regulation that asset managers will need to consider:
- Website disclosures;
- Prospectus / pre-contractual disclosures; and
- Annual report disclosure.
Each of these elements is considered in more detail in our Table.
How can the Maples Group help?
With strong support from the Irish Government, the Central Bank of Ireland and local industry, we believe that Ireland will build on its highly successful funds and investment management sector and become a global centre of excellence for sustainable investment funds. We have produced a Guide focusing on sustainable investment fund strategies to help promote environmental, social and governance aims.
1. The Low Carbon Benchmarks Regulation came into force at the same time.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.