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ESG Certification: Assisting in Mitigating Greenwashing

When it comes to ESG, funds and managers are struggling to showcase and validate their initiatives. A clear framework and methodology for independent ESG reporting and certification can help overcome this issue and establish credibility with respect to their ESG strategies. Through collaboration among key stakeholders such as asset managers, service providers, consultants and academic researchers, the industry can strive to set the standard for ESG investing certification.

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Stat 43% of capital raised globally in 2021 for alternative investments funds was secured by ESG-committed managers

43% of capital raised globally in 2021 for alternative investments funds was secured by ESG-committed managers

Stat $3.10tn of alternative investments capital assets under management in 2021 was managed by firms committed to ESG investing

$3.10tn of alternative investments capital assets under management in 2021 was managed by firms committed to ESG investing

Stat $2.06tn of ESG assets under management in 2021 were held by Europe-based asset fund managers

$2.06tn of ESG assets under management in 2021 were held by Europe-based asset fund managers

TAILORED SOLUTIONS FOR ESG-COMMITTED MANAGERS

With more than 50 years' experience servicing the alternative investment industry, we deliver independent, personalised and highly responsive support backed by an unmatched level of expertise. We are fully committed to the area of sustainability and highly focussed on the impact ESG and responsible investment will have for the financial services sector. From regulatory and compliance services to legal advice, we have a history of developing and implementing solutions that support the advancement of the industry and deliver unmatched value for managers and investors. As ESG standards and regulations continue to advance, we are once again introducing solutions that help to mitigate the risk of certain harmful practices and certain risks of and actions perceived as greenwashing, providing increased ESG transparency while giving managers greater options to generate capital. Our fully integrated ESG fund services offering provides clients access to market-leading ESG fund administration, management company, data, reporting and certification solutions, as well as expertise and insight from a team of lawyers at the forefront of ESG policies and frameworks across the funds industry. This perspective and insight has shaped our offering and enables us to provide clear guidance to our clients in navigating the complexities of the evolving ESG landscape.

 

Our solutions, your advantage

With investor expectations and regulatory requirements evolving as the demand for ESG compliance continues to grow, there has never been a greater need for turnkey solutions that enable managers to launch, certify and report on ESG funds effectively and efficiently. Our comprehensive solutions ensure managers and funds are in compliance and set up for success in the ESG environment.

 

Our global ESG Advisory Group is a dedicated multi-disciplinary team of ESG and sustainable finance experts drawn from our global Banking and Finance, Corporate, Funds & Investment Management, Dispute Resolution & Insolvency, Projects & Construction, Property, Tax and Regulatory teams. Our multi-jurisdictional capabilities ensure that we have exposure to global ESG trends and sustainable finance developments. It also enables us to draw on the experiences and expertise of the entire Maples Group, to develop a uniform and consistent approach to ESG initiatives for our global clients.

Our ESG Advisory Group collaborates with leading international clients and institutional investors to achieve their ESG objectives at both an investment and operational level.

Our services include:

  • Sustainable Finance: acting for lenders, borrowers and investors on a wide range of lending transactions including green and sustainability-linked loans;
  • EU Sustainable Funds and Taxonomy: end-to-end Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation ("SFDR") and the Taxonomy Regulation compliance solutions for asset managers and institutional investors operating within the European Union;
  • Greenwashing Litigation and Advisory: providing legal advice on managing and mitigating against greenwashing risk and regulatory sanction; and
  • Corporate ESG and Good Governance: advising shareholders and companies on ESG related matters, across the entire range of corporate and shareholder transactions.

 

Whether it is used by funds to inform investment strategies, monitor decisions, report to investors or meet regulatory requirements, data is at the heart of ESG. To complement our full suite of custom reporting solutions, we have implemented a leading ESG data and reporting system from Trucost, part of S&P Global. This combination of proprietary and best-of-breed systems enables us to deliver tailored solutions incorporating ESG factors for managers and funds of all sizes and across the spectrum of strategies.

Our solutions include:

  • ESG reporting for listed investments
  • Broad capability for ESG reporting for private investments
  • Extensive solutions for upcoming European regulatory reporting solutions under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation ("SFDR")
  • Additional solutions for reporting for the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures ("TCFD")

 

To date, the industry has relied on self-certification and reporting by funds and managers as it relates to ESG criteria and true transparency into these factors has been difficult to achieve.

Partnering with leading compliance and risk management firm K2 Integrity we are able to give our clients access to their first-of-its-kind solution for independent certification of a fund's and manager's ESG strategies. This consists of a detailed review of qualitative and quantitative metrics to verify that a fund and manager is compliant with ESG best practices and applicable regulations.

As investor expectations and regulatory requirements continue to evolve, this solution helps put managers a step ahead in validating and quantifying their ESG initiatives while delivering unmatched value for investors.

 

The Maples Group ESG Platform ICAV (the "Platform") is an Irish Collective Asset Management Vehicle. It is an umbrella fund, specifically structured to host ESG and sustainability-focused funds and shall be regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland as a Qualifying Investor Alternative Investment Fund.

The Platform offers a turnkey solution for clients looking to launch a segregated SFDR compliant Article 8 or Article 9 sub-fund, allowing them to take advantage of the high demand for ESG focused funds in Europe. EU and non-EU clients looking for a flexible solution for SFDR compliance and European distribution can take advantage of an established fund platform with regulatory approval and legal agreements already in place.

Included with the Platform, clients receive access to the industry-leading ESG practice and service providers for ESG advisory, fund management, fund distribution and operations including ESG data solutions and certification support. This provides funds with unique access to comprehensive ESG solutions that assist in marketing to EU investors and remaining compliant with EU regulations.

The Platform is managed and promoted by MPMF Fund Management (Ireland) Limited ("MPMF"), the Maples Group's Central Bank of Ireland authorised alternative investment fund manager.

As the alternative investment fund manager, MPMF oversees ESG leading practices and adherence to investor and regulator requirements. It can provide clients with SFDR categorisation and ESG certifications for the underlying sub-funds on the Platform allowing investment managers to execute their own SFDR-compliant investment strategy.

In addition, the Maples Group has the expertise and services to offer additional legal structures to an ICAV including, trusts, partnerships or contractual funds, and to provide these solutions in either Ireland or Luxembourg.

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ESG Certification: Assisting in Mitigating Greenwashing

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