Bank of America CEO says clients want to invest in companies ‘doing right by society’

Bank of America CEO says clients want to invest in companies ‘doing right by society’
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  • Bank of America clients have invested $25 billion in environment, social and governance (ESG) funds and investor interest in ESG will continue to grow.
  • “All investors are saying, ‘I want you to invest in companies doing right by society,’” Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said at Davos.
  • Bank of America is investing $300 billion over the next decade in sustainable business projects.

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan says money will keeping flowing to environment, social and governance funds (ESG) as more investors send the message that they want to own companies with a mission that aligns profits with broader social goals.

“We have $25 billion in ESG funds, and more is going there,” Moynihan said on ” from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The bank has a total of $3 trillion in investor assets. “All investors are saying, ‘I want you to invest in companies doing right by society.’”

Assets in ESG mutual funds and ETFs reached a record level in 2019, according to Morningstar, with more than $20 billion investors, four times the level of 2018, which had been the previous record.

Last week the CEO of the world’s largest money manager, BlackRock, issued an annual letter saying that climate change will lead to a fundamental reshaping of finance the likes of which the world has never seen, and a significant reallocation of capital is set to take place “sooner than most anticipate.”

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said: “Climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects.” He added, “Climate change is almost invariably the top issue that clients around the world raise with BlackRock. From Europe to Australia, South America to China, Florida to Oregon, investors are asking how they should modify their portfolios.”

BlackRock announced broad changes to its investment strategies aligned with ESG.

Bank of America has committed $300 billion to sustainable investments over the next decade. Since 2007, when the company issued its first Environmental Business Initiative, Bank of America has deployed more than $126 billion to environmental business efforts.

“There is a huge opportunity, whether it is green bonds or different types of financing for solar installations or wind installations,” the Bank of America CEO said of the bank’s opportunities to deploy the capital. He added that as more companies seek carbon neutrality, that will drive demand for new technology, though it will require power companies, above all, to make real progress.

Source: CNBC

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