Bloomberg Law
Sept. 13, 2017, 8:17 PM

Fiduciary Duties in an Age of Impact Investing

Suzanne McDowell
Suzanne McDowell
Steptoe & Johnson LLP

In recent years, managers of charitable organizations and pension plans have come under increasing pressure to adopt investment strategies that consider non-financial factors, such as environmental or corporate governance factors, or that further a moral, social, or political cause. Can pension plan and charity managers take into account non-financial factors when investing an organization’s or plan’s assets? Or do their fiduciary duties and other legal constraints require them to prioritize or focus solely on financial returns when evaluating investments?

The answer may be yes to both questions, depending on the circumstances, but the lines are far from bright. The appropriate ...