Yale partners with Arvella Investments for ESG data

Helping people integrate ESG into their portfolios


Yale University has launched a partnership with Paris-based boutique firm Arvella Investments to provide ESG research, the groups have announced.

The Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance will be the research partner for the firm’s ESG for Investors sustainable investment service. That service is designed to help people integrate ESG into their portfolios, with input from fellow investors and academics, according to Arvella.

“After a dramatic growth in ESG-labeled assets, ESG investing faces an unprecedented backlash,” the company stated in the announcement. “Two factors drive this backlash. First, investors have challenged weak analytical foundations of ESG investing, anticipating that it is likely to deliver subpar long-term investment returns. Second, the lack of meaningful real-world impact has fed greenwashing claims.”

The research is aimed to provide information to asset managers and their clients that could improve returns and have environmental and social impact.

“Greenwashing is a rational, if unambitious reaction to ESG activists’ absurd asks,” said Arvella CIO Benoit Mercereau, in the announcement. “ESG activists exhort investors to do things that make little investment sense. Unsurprisingly, most investors won’t. ESG proponents should acknowledge investors’ reality and make the business case for ESG improvements instead. If a company’s positive ESG impact will increase its profits, investors will stop at almost nothing to maximize that impact.”

The arrangement between the Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance and the asset manager is not the first of its kind. Other firms have recently partnered with universities to provide ESG research, including MIT’s relationship with Wellington Management and Columbia University’s partnership with AB.

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