Senior Advisor, Prof. Bradford Cornell, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal regarding his work with Prof. Aswath Damodaran on ESG investing.
"The implicit promise of ESG investing is that you can do well and do good at the same time. Investors presume they can make a market return while advancing causes such as lowering carbon emissions and income inequality. But multiple studies find ESG strategies are doing little of either. Bradford Cornell of the University of California, Los Angeles and Aswath Damodaran of New York University reviewed shareholder value created by firms with high and low ESG ratings—scores provided by professional rating agencies. Their conclusion: “Telling firms that being socially responsible will deliver higher growth, profits and value is false advertising.”
What Messrs. Cornell and Damodaran found at the micro level is also apparent on a macro basis. Over the past five years, global ESG funds have underperformed the broader market by more than 250 basis points per year, an average 6.3% return compared with a 8.9% return. This means an investor who put $10,000 into an average global ESG fund in 2017 would have about $13,500 today, compared with $15,250 he would have earned if he had invested in the broader market."