After the green rush: ‘Feelgood’ ESG funds to sustain Earth and your finances in 2021


EELGOOD firms which put the environment, society and corporate governance – the holy trinity of ESG – at the heart of their operations were the big winners to emerge from 2020’s Covid-19 battered economy.

Equity tracking funds (ETFs) which focus their investments on ethical stocks recovered from the pandemic at a pace and scale which left other sectors standing.

“Covid was the moment,” one senior investment manager told the Standard. “Covid was the stress test for ESG. Before then, people were cynical, saying ESG was a fair-weather phenomenon. They’d say ’just you wait until the next recession, everyone will hunker back in sovereign bonds.’  

“Instead, valuations of companies with a strong green ethos – like green energy, EV [electric vehicles] – just blew the roof off.”

For seasoned stock-watchers, it marked the point at which ESG companies began to make sound investment sense in terms of equity valuation, and smashed the myth that investors must forgo returns to invest in a responsible way.

In the US, the Invesco Solar fund posted a 301% year-to-date return.  The First Trust Nasdaq Clean Edge Green Energy climbed 164.9% to an all-time high of $68.24.

Meanwhile, the WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index (NEX) – which follows UK and EU clean energy firms – zinged back from a low of $156 in early March to sit above $450, a 152% bounce. 

Three of the UK’s top 10 performing funds also had a focus on sustainability: Baillie Gifford’s Positive Change and Global Stewardship funds, and the Guinness Sustainable Energy fund.

( WHI )

Among those leading the NEX index in the UK is Ceres Power, a fuel cell technology firm spun out of London’s Imperial College some 20 years ago.  

‘It’s almost the perfect storm’

The technology is complicated but the numbers are easier to grasp. Starting 2020 just shy of 250p, by late December its share price was up to a breathtaking at 1270p. 

Ceres, based in Horsham, has licensed its clean energy technology to engineering giants including Germany’s Bosch and Chinese engine maker Weichai and added 100 staff through the pandemic, taking its global workforce to around 350.

Phil Caldwell, a one-time chemical engineer for ICI and now its CEO, said:  “A lot of people think this is just hype in the share price because ESG is hot, but you have to look beyond that to the fundamentals.  

“It’s almost the perfect storm. The disruption that’s happening in conventional industries like automotives, oil & gas, and utilities having to decarbonise and move towards electrification. It has all driven a market for our technology like never before.

“ESG is becoming a mainstream criteria rather than one on the periphery. On top of that, you have all the major economies looking for a green bounceback from the pandemic while the financial markets are looking at opportunities for growth while there’s very few around.  

“So most oil and gas companies have probably halved in the period we have gone up by a factor of four or five.”

There are two key drivers at play, say asset managers. On the one hand, socially-conscious investors are being more vocal, demanding companies within their portfolios pay more than just lip service to ESG concerns.  

On the other, stricter regulation backed by a tightening of rules on corporate disclosure is looming across Europe, Asia and, with the arrival of Joe Biden, in the US.

Covid was the moment, it was the stress-test

Local factors are also at play. In the UK, Brexit is a helping to push forward an environmental arms race with Boris Johnson’s government putting investment in green technology at the forefront of its pandemic recovery plans to hit net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 while forging the  ‘Saudi Arabia of wind’. 

While in the EU, companies are feeling the growing influence of the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) a network of central banks and financial supervisors which aims to accelerate the scaling up of green finance.


An activist blocks off BP’s offices in a 2019 protest

/ PA )

The impact on the broader investment landscape has caused even giants of industry to take notice, with a raft of firms from BP and Shell to Unliever, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca announcing moves towards net-zero emissions across their operations and supply chains.

Nestle, the world’s largest food producer and a frequent target of activists, has pledged $2bn to reduce plastic in packaging and committed some $3.6bn to slash its carbon emissions.  

Geoffrey Smith, contributor at, said: “It costs a lot of money to stay on the right side of the ESG crowd. However, management at Nestle obviously consider that it will cost shareholders more in the long run if it doesn’t.

“Nestle cannot afford to be dumped by such funds for doing too little. The announcement looks expensive, but unavoidable,” he added.  

Steven Fine, boss of investment house Peel Hunt, agrees. He said: “ESG is absolutely real and is the speed at which it’s growing as a factor in driving investment is phenomenal.  

( A wind farm opened by Nestle UK in Dumfries and Galloway. / PA )

“It’s not just younger investors. We are seeing this across the board – and in my opinion a firm’s ESG rating will soon be more important than its credit rating. Treat it lightly at your peril.”

Fine makes a key point: there are no universally agreed benchmarks for success across what can be quite nebulous criteria, leading to accusations that the rush to jump aboard the ESG bandwagon is open to exploitation from box-tickers.

There is pressure for change. In September, leaders of the UK’s Big Four accounting firms unveiled joint initiative to encourage large global companies to adopt standard metrics in their 2021 accounts. 

Lamenting the current “alphabet soup” of metrics, Deloitte boss Punit Renjen told the Financial Times. “It is important for us to have a common set of standards and if there is widespread adoption it will lead to change in behaviour.” 

Fund managers, however, remain confident that while  it is only natural to expect some pullback as early investors take profits from this year’s tear, the longer-term future remains sound.

 Laith Khalaf, of AJ Bell, said: “It’s been a record-breaking year for ethical fund sales in the UK, but they still only make up 3% of total funds under management across fund providers, which shows there’s still plenty of scope for growth.

“On top of concerted global efforts to hold back climate change, the election of Joe Biden as US President has also proved positive for clean energy stocks. 

“There are some areas which look overbought though – Tesla stock has risen eightfold in price over the course of the last year, and is now trading at around 600 times earnings. However this is a stock where the plentiful short sellers have been continually burnt by betting against its meteoric rise. ”

Nigel Green, CEO of deVere, told a Reuters round-table: “Millennials cite ESG investing as their top priority when considering investment opportunities. This is crucial because the biggest ever generational transfer of wealth — likely to be around $30trn — from baby boomers to millennials will take place in the next few years.

“ESG investing was already going to reshape the investment landscape in this new decade — but the coronavirus will quicken the pace of this reshaping.”

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Green energy funds top league table in banner year for ESG

The two US equity funds with the strongest returns in 2020 both focus on clean energy, in a vindication for investors who have sought out holdings with strong environmental, social and governance credentials.

The two funds — both run by the asset manager Invesco — have more than tripled in value thanks to a surge in the value of solar energy stocks, which themselves have enjoyed tailwinds from the heavy inflows into ESG investment strategies.

The Invesco Solar exchange traded fund, which has $3.7bn in assets, had risen 238 per cent since the start of the year as of Christmas Eve, topping a league table of US ETFs and mutual funds that invest in equities, as compiled by Morningstar.

Among the ETF’s top holdings are two providers of residential solar power, Enphase Energy, which has risen almost 600 per cent in value, and Sunrun, which is up 400 per cent.

The second-best performing fund was the Invesco WilderHill Clean Energy ETF, which has returned 220 per cent. One of its largest holdings is FuelCell Energy, which designs and makes power plants, whose shares have gained almost 400 per cent this year.

“A Joe Biden win combined with the rapid decline in renewable energy costs has contributed to further appreciation for solar and clean energy funds,” said Rene Reyna, head of thematic and specialty product strategy at Invesco.

In the wake of this year’s strong performance, “pullbacks should be expected”, Mr Reyna said, but he added: “The underlying fundamentals within the renewable energy sector support our view that we are in the early stages of a longer-term secular growth trend.”

Global funds that hold ESG assets have surged more than 50 per cent, beyond $1.3tn, since the end 2019, according to the Institute of International Finance, which said the trend had accelerated in recent weeks as investors anticipated active support from the incoming Biden administration.

Illustrating the strategy’s banner year, an ESG fund places number five on the league table of inflows, by dollar amount, out of all the equity funds in the US.

BlackRock’s iShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETF had attracted a net inflow of $9.3bn in the year to November 30, taking its total net assets to $12.7bn, according to Morningstar.

The fund is designed to broadly track the S&P 500, the benchmark US stock index, even as it eliminates shares from industries such as tobacco and companies with low ESG scores. BlackRock has pitched it to financial advisers and investors as an easy entry point to ESG investing, and has been among those arguing that accelerating inflows into such funds are creating momentum that will drive up popular ESG stocks.

“Companies with the highest ESG ratings collectively outperformed” during the pandemic market crash in March and beyond, said Romain Boscher, global chief investment officer for equities at Fidelity International. “We believe ESG adoption will only accelerate in 2021, especially as climate change moves up the agenda in the US.”

A clean energy index fund run by First Trust, which has assets of $2bn, is also in the top five best-performing US equity funds of the year, along with two from Ark Investment Management that focus on trends in technology, particularly innovations in healthcare and cloud computing.

“These are niche areas that are focused on innovation and that seems to have resonated for investors given the year we have seen,” said Tony Thomas, associate director of equity strategies at Morningstar. Meanwhile, he said, “ESG funds are picking up flows and I don’t see any reason for that to abate.”

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Labor vs. the ESG Racket

One of the stakes in who controls the Senate in 2021 is the fate of the Trump Administration’s deregulation project. A GOP Senate could block Democrats from using of the Congressional Review Act to overturn important rules. A valuable case in point is the new Labor Department rule requiring that retirement plan managers invest in the best financial interest of their beneficiaries.

Last month DOL finalized a rule underlining that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Erisa) requires plan fiduciaries to act “solely in…

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Toyota named top ESG brand in Japan survey

TOKYO — Toyota Motor recently topped a survey of corporate brands in Japan with regard to their environmental, social and governance, or ESG, policy.

The survey, conducted from May 25 to June 30 by Nikkei Business Publications, found Toyota in the top spot overall, ahead of beverage maker Suntory Holdings and supermarket operator Aeon.

The poll was the first of its kind by the Nikkei group company and designed to present a snapshot of how consumers and businesspeople view companies and brands in terms of their ESG activities. Toyota was rated especially highly for its leadership in corporate governance and innovation. The automaker ranked first in the social, governance and integrity categories, and second in the environmental category.

“We are very happy to receive high ratings, but we have just started working on ESG programs,” said Yumi Otsuka, deputy chief sustainability officer at Toyota.

The online survey covered 560 corporate brands in Japan. There were 21,000 valid responses.

Suntory, which came in second in the overall ranking, scored well on environmental issues, specifically its work in biodiversity and nature conservation. Respondents mentioned the company’s motto: “Live with water” in citing the company’s environmental work.

Aeon, which came in third overall, was the only retailer in the top 10. The company was highly rated in the environmental and social categories. Its long-standing policies, such as charging customers for plastic bags before that became compulsory, have burnished its image. Aeon also drew praise for being quick to sell sustainable seafood certified by the Marine Stewardship Council and other bodies.

Taking a closer look at the survey’s top performer, Toyota ranked first in four of 12 environmental areas, including “making efforts to address climate change” and “making efforts to save energy.” In the social category, the company topped the list in six of 12 areas, including “paying attention to the safety and health of employees, such as by preventing industrial accidents,” and “paying attention to product safety.”

In governance, the automaker was the highest rated company in all 12 areas, including “top management is keenly aware of governance.” In integrity, it ranked first in five of nine areas, including “contributing to the creation of a better society and the achievement of the [United Nations’] Sustainable Development Goals,” and “thinking of future generations while managing the business.”

Although it was No. 1 in many areas, it fared less well in others. Many peopled rated the company lower on “discrimination against nonregular workers and minorities in the workplace,” where the automaker came in second. In gender equality it was rated third for being “less positive about employing women and appointing few women to executive positions.”

Toyota has few women in senior roles. Only 2.5% its managers were women in 2019. The company has pledged by fiscal 2025 to quadruple the number of female managers from about 100 in fiscal 2014, and to raise it fivefold by fiscal 2030.

“We recognize the issue [of promoting women] as our most important task,” said Otsuka. “Although our targets are still not high, we want to create an environment in the company that allows women to make full use of their abilities.”

Toyota is also working on the issue of foreign hires in Japan. “We recognize that there are problems regarding foreign workers in auto manufacturing as a whole, and conducted a survey of foreign occupational trainees, including those in our supply chain, starting last year and into this year,” said Hideaki Saito, project general manager at Toyota’s sustainability management department. “We have also begun working to reduce trainee placement fees by conferring with trainee-sending agencies in Vietnam and management groups in Japan.”

A Lexus LF-30, an electric concept car, is displayed at this year’s Beijing auto show: Toyota has sold more than 10 million eco-friendly vehicles worldwide.

  © Getty Images

The survey’s comment section reveals Toyota’s strength in ESG activities, with three words coming up frequently.

The first is “eco-cars,” such as electric and hybrid vehicles. Toyota has sold more than 10 million eco-cars worldwide, led by its well-known Prius compact. The automaker unveiled an electric vehicle, the Lexus UX300e, at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition in China, last November, and is now selling the luxury model in China and Europe. The car will be introduced in Japan in the first half of next year.

The second term frequently mentioned by commenters was “smart city.” This appears to be a reference to Woven City, an experimental “connected city” Toyota plans to build in Susono, Shizuoka Prefecture, at the foot of Mount Fuji. At the CES convention held in the U.S. city of Las Vegas in January, the company announced plans to build a model city. The announcement received a lot of media coverage in Japan.

Third, many respondents referred to the company’s “top [management].” Many businesspeople have a favorable opinion of Toyota President Akio Toyoda, appreciating the way he presents corporate results and company policies at news conferences.

In an earnings announcement in May, Toyoda revealed that the carmaker expects an operating profit of 500 billion yen ($4.74 billion) for the current fiscal year ending in March 2021. He also declared that his mission was “to nurture empathy among workers,” and “to work on the SDGs in earnest.”

Toyota has begun reorganizing to promote sustainability, setting up a sustainability management department in June last year. In February this year, it created the positions of chief sustainability officer and deputy chief sustainability officer. These officers are charged with promoting ESG activities.

Toyota is undertaking a smart city project in Susono, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, seen here in this artist’s rendering.

Toyota has also stepped up disclosures. While many companies issue corporate sustainability reports annually, the carmaker now updates its Sustainability Data Book on its website whenever there is important new data. The online report has already been updated three times this year.

Toyota has also begun reforms to its work processes and human resources development. The company is known for its kaizen system of continuous improvement at its factories. Since the coronavirus outbreak, it has started working to improve the productivity of office staff as well. “We are working on kaizen across the company, with employees being encouraged to sort their work into three categories: stop, change and continue,” said Saito.

One area where Toyota was rated markedly higher than other companies surveyed was in “paying attention to product safety.” This may reflect the company’s announcement in June of a new vehicle safety technology.

Toyota said it will make its Thums injury analysis software freely available from January 2021. The software allows computer analysis of injuries caused by car crashes, using various models of different genders, ages and physiques. The company will offer the technology, which it says will enhance vehicle safety around the world.

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ESG is the right way to invest during periods of volatility: S Naren

We think there is a requirement to be in equity, to follow asset allegations and have some position in gold, says the Executive Director & Chief Investment Officer, ICICI Prudential AMC.

What is your current market view?
It is not a very easy area from the point of view of the equity market because you are talking about roughly 45 days ahead of US elections. There has been a big melt up in US FAANG stocks and after that, FAANG stocks have seen a meaningful correction in the recent past. I would still say that even after the US FAANG correction, many of the US stocks are still meaningfully overvalued. So we are headed for a period of volatility globally.

In India, we have a two type market. There is one set of stocks which keep going up regularly. Another set of stocks keep going down regularly. So it is a very funny situation where you do not know what to say about the markets because on one hand, every day, the price to earnings, dividend yield, price to book, looks cheaper and cheaper by the day and another set of stocks where everything looks costlier by the day. And will that diverge, will that converge? Over the 30 years that I have been in the markets I have seen that one day they suddenly converge but there have been periods of like 1998-1999, 2006-2007 where these divergences have continued for some period of time only to finally converge. So that is a tough job.

The good thing is we have seen everyone make money, particularly retail investors, who entered the market in April. It seems everyone has made money in equity markets by and large, except for the people who follow valuation models like price to earnings, price to book, dividend yield. Anyone who does not follow any valuation model has genuinely made money. And in general, people have also made money because everyone buys a basket of things and in that basket of things something works. So I would say it is not very easy to say what is the market view.

How are you investing in this market? You have got a compulsion of risk management, you cannot buy more than 10% of a stock like Reliance. On the other hand, you have a benchmark to beat. How are you managing your portfolios?
Every global investment guru says that you have to take pain. We are currently in the process of taking pain because finally in the long run, the markets are rational and you cannot have a situation where only technology and pharma stocks keep going up and that also cannot happen at a time when deposit rates keep going down. Liquid and overnight funds give you just 3% return. Why should stocks which give you 7% and 8% dividend yield keep going down every day? I do not think that is also logical.

Eventually markets will be rational, that is what investment gurus like Benjamin Graham have to say. On the other hand, John Maynard Keynes said that markets can stay irrational and for long till you are insolvent and that is another thing. Chuck Prince has said you have to keep dancing while the markets are irrational. So you have a number of investment gurus making very good statements and that is a challenge that you have to stay rational because mutual funds are long-term investment vehicles.

For example, there were periods of irrationality in 2017-2018 when people said all that mattered was yield to maturity and risk did not matter. Suddenly in the 2018-2020 period, risk played out and stocks with higher the yield to maturity got into trouble. Today we have a situation that higher PE, higher price to book — nothing seems to matter in many of the stocks. We will go through these phases.

If you look at something completely outside our domain, a stock like Apple corrected from $135 to $108 in no time. We have a job of looking after investors in the very long run. So if you look at investments on a point to point basis, there is a problem. If we have looked at investors in 2007 December, there were schemes of ICICI Prudential which were not doing well. It was those very schemes which when we had looked at in 2009 December, had started doing well. So if we had looked at it on 31st December 2007, you would have thought that they were very bad schemes and if you had looked at 31st December 2007 the schemes which were doing extremely well. Many of them did not do well on 31st December 2009.

Finally at the end of the day, I work for a mutual fund, I do not work for a hedge fund and my goal is to look after the investors of India in the long run and not look at it on a point to point basis. So I have to respect long-term investment techniques and short-term investment techniques. At the same time, I have to be aware that the world is changing. How do I look at investment in a world which is changing?

For example, in the last six months, we have been working out of home. We are so much more dependent on technology to get our work done. So there are a lot of other things which we have to keep thinking about because we are not in a continuous world where everything is the same. We are in a dynamic world and we have to keep thinking about that also at the same time. So while we have to think about investment techniques which have been there for a long period of time, we have to think about a changed world also.

When I see stocks like Snowflake and Lemonade and DocuSign and Nikola and Tesla, it is really interesting to watch what is happening in the world. At the same time, I have seen such periods of irrationality and may be what the world calls rationality in 2007 and 1999. So, there are times when a lot of things have changed dramatically only to converge. It is a very interesting period and of course it gives me sleepless nights. It gives me a lot of time to think and I have to keep thinking whether I am wrong, find where do I have to change and what do I have to do. I have to keep thinking about all these things.

“We believe there is a requirement to invest a certain amount of money in global markets and we believe that it is not wise to say today is the day to make your equity zero.”

— S Naren

With all due respect to all global gurus, their own views are also changing. Buffett has done things which he has never advocated in the past which is buying technology companies, investing in IPOs. Howard Marks has changed in last six months in terms of his market view and assessment of the cycle.
The reality is that we are in a developed world central bank bull market. We are in a zero percent interest rate environment and in such an environment, a lot of things have become very interesting in the western world. If the Fed Chair comes and tells you for the next three years I am going to keep interest rates at zero, there are certain things which become very different from what it is before.

The world is also adjusting itself to a developed world central bank bull market and even in India we have seen one of the lowest interest rates on short term rates. We think there is a requirement to be in equity, to follow asset allegations and have some position in gold.

We believe there is a requirement to invest a certain amount of money in global markets and we believe that it is not wise to say today is the day to make your equity zero. These are the things that we learnt out of repeated discussions on what is the developed world central bank bull market means because while you may have a US presidential election, developed world central banks do not have to face elections, they do not have to go through a situation where if I underperform for a few months, my money will be taken off. So, these kinds of things do not happen and that is why we went through a lot of discussion to arrive at these views.

Global gurus are also learning that zero interest rate with very low credit spreads is something that they have also seen in such an extreme way for the first time so you have to also give it to them and you have to also remember that many of these investments like Warren Buffett in Apple were not made just now. Bulk of it was made much earlier and if you take an investment like Snowflake, I do not think Warren Buffett made it at $200. He made it at a different price point. So you have to also remember what is the price at which they were and what is the price at which the market is today pricing things.

One thing about investing is everyone makes mistakes and this is not arithmetic. I keep telling everyone that this is not arithmetic and this is a continuous learning business and we have to keep learning and we have to keep thinking and we have to keep aligning our learning. But at the same time, there are certain core investing techniques which we have to keep remembering and that involves a focus on cash flow and intrinsic value which has to be kept in mind at all points of time.

If you look at the credit fiasco which happened, it was based on the fact that some of the simple logics that had to be kept in mind got forgotten. When you forget core investing techniques, they will suddenly play out and they have played out in the past, they have played out in 2008, they have played out in 2000 and they can again play out now.

I believe the goal of the mutual fund fund manager or a CIO is to be disciplined because we are not looking at point to point, we are looking for the long run and we have large sums of money where we have to look after investor interest in the long run and that is why we wisely decided that we have to look after through an asset allocation framework rather than just a pure equity framework because pure equity goes through the problems of February-March where suddenly out of the blue, you lose 20% of customers returns and whereas in an asset allocation framework, the losses that investors suffer are much much lower and therefore we give a much better investor experience in an asset allocation framework. That is what we have tried to do to all our customers in our country through our products.

What are you anticipating given that the Nifty 100 ESG index has now completely recovered? Share with us a little bit more about the thought behind this?
ESG is a very powerful investing framework which got created over a period mostly by European investors and given the environment, social and governance factors play a big role. You have to remember that for equities as a class, we get the residual returns after what is due to employees, after what is due to the bond holders, after what is due to the government. It is the residual returns which go to the equity holders.

We think that the ESG framework is something which helps the equity holders. The Europeans have actually given a lot of thrust to this and they have realised that it actually gives a very good long term investment framework for long-term investors because at the end of the day, if you look after the environment, the social factors and governance factors, you are automatically going to take care of the residual onus of minority shareholders and therefore the minority shareholders are going to gain very significantly in the long run. That is how we have come up with this and this is a category which is going to gain traction over the next few decades.

It is something which we think provides a good opportunity to raise money and the timing of the launch was primarily because the markets have recovered. But we thought that given that in the month or so following the launch we would have huge volatility potential due to the US elections. The deployment period would be when you will have massive volatility. It is a very good long-term investing framework and people have to think long term in this category.

We have been asking a whole lot of our experts their mantras on getting rich . At a time like this, we have to keep in mind some solid investing strategies. What would be your advice to investors?
You have to remember that equity investors are residual risk beneficiaries. That is why we think ESG is the right way to go during periods of volatility. March was one of the best times to invest because there was so much volatility. We always believe volatility is one of the best times to invest and we spend a lot of time looking at governance factors, social and environmental factors and this is an area where we keep learning.

I believe the market itself is not in a very easy frame of investing at this point of time but at the same time, there are areas where a lot of long term investment opportunities are there at this point of time and there are areas which look fully valued now. We like the way both retail and institutional activities have been both involved unlike in the last 10 years when it was just institutions who were active and not retail. Thus is something which I like at this point of time.

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Mark Carney to head ESG investing at Brookfield Asset Management

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“The question particularly for asset owners, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and others is: How are you oriented? Are you on the right side, or the wrong side, of history?” Carney said in an interview.

Over the past three decades, Brookfield has built one of the world’s largest pure-play renewable energy businesses. It now has nearly 20,000 megawatts in operation and another 18,000 megawatts in development globally. It has other businesses, such as water treatment facilities in Brazil, that could fit with the new funds, Flatt said.

“The discipline around the impact these investments will have on climate and the portfolio is going to become a mainstream skill, just like managing credit risk and duration,” Carney said. “The platform that can do that, and is out in front, is going to be more attractive for allocation than one that doesn’t.”

Political Speculation

The growth in Brookfield’s renewable energy business has come alongside a massive expansion of its portfolio. Since 2012, Brookfield’s assets have grown to about US$550 billion from $150 billion, trailing only Blackstone Group Inc. among alternative asset managers.

Speculation about Carney’s next move went into overdrive earlier this month after Bloomberg reported that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau enlisted him for advice on an economic plan to pull the country out of recession. That led to talk that he might even enter the government as finance minister, but last week Trudeau gave that job to Chrystia Freeland, his deputy prime minister.

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