Energy crisis: ESG investing is the way forward, says deVere CEO

Rick Steves

“It will bring into sharp focus that rather than staying with fossil fuels, the longer-term answer to this and future energy crunches is ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing.”

The global energy crisis is an opportunity for ESG to spread its wings as sustainable investing stands as the best option for investors and humanity as climate change lingers.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that the best way and most sustainable way to solve this and future energy crises is to accelerate the transition towards cleaner power”, said Nigel Green, chief executive officer and founder of deVere Group.

“Investors, keen to get ahead of the curve as well as earn profits with purpose, will be more keenly seeking out the opportunities as the world scrabbles to mitigate the environmental, economic and social fallout of the current situation – a situation which is likely to be a constant risk.”

deVere Group, an independent financial advisory with $12bn under advisement, has seen its clients move increasingly toward sustainable investing.

In June 2020, around 26% of deVere clients around the world were eyeing exposure or already had exposure to ESG investments. This has now increased to 44% over the past 12 months and the trend is set to gain further momentum, according to Mr. Green.

“First, governments and regulators are becoming increasingly supportive of ESG criteria which boosts investor confidence. For instance, despite recent alarm over energy prices, the United States is putting climate concerns temporarily on the back burner, yet the Biden Administration is overall taking a tougher approach on the use of fossil fuels and is promising swift action to tackle climate change.

“Additionally, the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S.’s financial regulator, Gary Gensler, is a proponent and is likely to strengthen investment and disclosure rules to help the U.S. catch up with Europe.

“Second, as millennials who are more likely to seek responsible investment options, become the major beneficiaries of the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth—an estimated $30 trillion in the next few years—we can expect both retail and institutional investors to continue to pile into ESG.

“And third, the pandemic has focused minds on the fact that the health of our planet directly affects human health which, in turn, affects the way we all live and work.

The global energy crunch is going to get a lot worse as the northern hemisphere moves into winter when energy demand is even greater, said the deVere Group CEO as he added that the price surges are in danger of pushing back the critical transition towards cleaner energy sources.

“However, savvy investors will be taking a wider, longer-term look at the situation. They will see that the current energy crisis is a combination of factors – including ongoing geopolitical tensions to which there are no quick fixes, and infrastructure and supply issues – and that these problems are not going away.

“It will bring into sharp focus that rather than staying with fossil fuels, the longer-term answer to this and future energy crunches is ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing. They will be moving quickly to have an early advantage, foreseeing the undeniable value, necessity and rewards of sustainable investing.”

ESG investment continues to outperform the market and experience lower levels of volatility. deVere is among the 18 founding signatories of the UN-backed Net Zero initiative that aims to deliver a net zero financial system by 2050 and to set meaningful interim targets for 2025.

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