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Cracking Down on a Wall Street Trend: E.S.G. Makeovers


The DealBook newsletter delves into a single topic or theme every weekend, providing reporting and analysis that offers a better understanding of an important issue in business. If you don’t already receive the daily newsletter, sign up here.In early 2018, Goldman Sachs gave one of its decades-old mutual funds a makeover.It had been invested in the stocks of large European and Japanese companies across many industries, but suddenly it became the Goldman Sachs International Equity ESG Fund. Its new investing mandate: choose foreign companies with the best reputations on environmental, social and governance policies.E.S.G.-fund makeovers have become the trend du jour on Wall Street: BlackRock, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, HSBC, WisdomTree, Putnam and MassMutual have all done it. Over the past five years, about 90 mutual funds and E.T.F.s have undertaken similar revamps, according to the mutual fund rating firm Morningstar. And Wall Street firms have started up hundreds of brand-new E.S.G. dedicated funds — seeking to cash in on growing investor demand for s …

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