European leaders have begun to discuss options for moving forward with a process called “enhanced cooperation,” in which nine or more members of the EU agree to work on a proposal together, to bring a trans-European financial transactions tax to fruition. Vocal supporters for this process include German Chancellor Angela Markel, Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter, and leaders in France, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Poland.
I recently attended a school function and was chatting with a friend (“Pam” for the sake of this post) who is a buy-side analyst at a major asset management firm, the kind that manages hundreds of billions of pension fund assets, and 401Ks. Pam’s firm, like many mainstream asset management companies, is a signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The first two Principles state: 1. We will incorporate ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes. 2. We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.