ESG Advisory Services

Gain clarity on your firm’s ESG requirements and build a strong compliance program with our dedicated ESG advisory practice.

Behind the increased demand for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing is a heightened regulatory focus and a greater need for transparency and standardization. The ESG landscape is evolving at a rapid pace and requires additional resources to meet investor and regulatory expectations.

Our dedicated advisory practice helps firms of all sizes develop and monitor ESG programs to mitigate risk, make informed choices, grow profitably and sustainably, and combat greenwashing in the process.

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Our solutions

We provide global compliance and sustainability expertise to review and develop ESG programs based on best practices, current regulatory requirements, and robust oversight processes. Our support covers the following areas:

Program Management
  • Policies & Procedures Development
  • Carbon Footprinting
  • Net-Zero Management
  • DEI Baselining and Training
  • Portfolio Performance Assessment
  • Reporting (UN PRI, TCFD, SFDR)
  • Marketing and Disclosures Review
Portfolio Oversight
  • Portfolio ESG Risk Monitoring – Private and Public Investors
  • Annual Portfolio Carbon Footprinting
  • Annual Portfolio Climate Risk Analysis
ESG Assurance
  • Portfolio Testing
  • Disclosure Verification
  • Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) – Report Readiness and Assurance
  • Annual ESG Compliance Review
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What is ESG?

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) is a lens that can be applied to any form of investing to consider non-financial factors that are not traditionally reported to assess an investment’s overall worthiness.

In recent years, firms increasingly add ESG metrics to their investment processes to provide for more complete analyses and support better investment decision-making. Discussion of ESG activities is also being added to annual reports and, in some cases, being built into standalone ESG reports.

Environmental (E)

Covers themes that impact the Earth, both positively and negatively. Includes climate change, natural resources scarcity, pollution and waste, permitting, and environmental opportunities.

Social (S)

Consists of people-related elements both within the firm and society as a whole. Includes labor issues, human rights, customer satisfaction, data protection and privacy, and diversity and inclusion.

Governance (G)

Encompasses items relating to the firm’s leadership and board as well as the firm's implementation of ESG policies. Includes board composition, diversity of the board, ethical business practices, lobbying, political contributions, account and tax transparency, and relationships with the SEC and other regulatory bodies.

ESG by the numbers

According to the Morningstar Global Sustainable Fund Flows Report as of October 2020:

Global inflows into sustainable funds were up

14%

in the third quarter of 2020 to USD 80.5 billion

Assets in sustainable funds climbed 19% to

$1.2T

in 2020

The number of global sustainable funds launched in 3Q 2020 was

166

breaking the record of 159 launches in Q4 2018

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Why work with us?

  • Unmatched Expertise: Benefit from a trusted and experienced partner with in-depth knowledge of the market and regulations
  • Comprehensive ESG Solution: Support across the spectrum of ESG program maturity in one comprehensive offering
  • Stay Ahead of the Shifting Landscape: Balance demands from investors, regulators, and stakeholders while keeping up with constant changes in the ESG space
  • Fee Transparency: Predictable fee model helps avoid scope creep – more fee transparency where others may have a daisy-chain of SOWs
On demand webcast

Environmental Justice – The Investment Risk You May Be Missing

President Biden has made environmental justice a focal point of his administration. Some of his first actions as president were to reorganize environmental justice councils within the federal government and charge them with ensuring all federal agencies adopt the all-of-government approach outlined in his executive order “to secure environmental justice and equitable economic opportunity.” More recently, his COVID-19 stimulus plan and proposed infrastructure plan include unprecedented investments to address historical racial inequities.

Join us as experts from our ESG advisory team explain what environmental justice is, why it warrants such a sweeping approach, how businesses can (or should) be involved, and why investors should care about it.

Latest insights

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SEC Keeps ESG Momentum with Release of Risk Alert

April 14, 2021

On Friday, April 8, 2021, the SEC’s Division of Examinations issued a Risk Alert for ESG Investing, putting an exclamation point on ESG being a top priority for the Commission.

Compliance Alert
  • ESG
  • Compliance
  • SEC
Compliance Alert

SEC Turns Watchful Eye on ESG

March 17, 2021

A recent flurry of activity from the SEC has made it crystal clear that ESG will be a top priority in the near and long term.

Compliance Alert
  • ESG
  • Compliance
  • SEC
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FAQ: Implementing the Updated PRI Framework

March 11, 2021

Our ESG advisory team answered a few of the most common questions that firms asked during the recent webcast Implementing the Updated PRI Framework.

Article
  • ESG
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2021 Regulatory Reminders and Upcoming Deadlines for European firms

February 15, 2021

A summary of key tasks for compliance teams with a European presence, along with a summary of FCA’s priorities during 2021, our analysis of key regulatory developments and an outline of longer-term trends.

Article
  • Compliance
  • Brexit
  • Cybersecurity
  • Regulatory Technology
  • Mirabella
  • ESG
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Highlights from ESG and the Year Ahead

February 12, 2021

Following the launch of ACA’s ESG advisory practice, our webcast ESG and the Year Ahead recently discussed ESG trends and how to better address sustainability and responsible investing issues in the year ahead. Summarized below are four themes to consider throughout this year as you build out and enhance your ESG program.

Article
  • ESG
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New PRI Framework Could Catch Signatories Off Guard

January 21, 2021

All PRI signatories must report on their responsible investing activities by April 29, 2021. On November 12, 2020, PRI released the newest version of the reporting framework, which is a major overhaul of the prior reporting framework.

Article
  • ESG

Our leadership team

Dan Mistler

Dan Mistler

Partner

Dan is a Partner and senior practitioner heading the ESG advisory practice.

Crista DesRochers

Crista DesRochers

Partner

Crista is a Partner overseeing the ESG advisory practice and brings over 15 years of experience in investment performance consulting.

Alyssa Briggs

Alyssa Briggs

Managing Director of Client Development

Alyssa is a Managing Director of Client Development leading growth and client engagement for ACA’s ESG advisory practice.

Jessica Bonsall

Jessica Bonsall

Director, Environmental Lead

Jessica is a Director and the technical lead on all environmental work undertaken by the ESG team.

Peyun Kok

Peyun Kok

Director, Social Lead

Peyun Kok is a Director and the technical lead on all social work undertaken by the ESG team.

headshot of Julian Seelan, ACA

Julian Seelan

Director, Technology Lead

Julian Seelan is a Director and lead for technology services within the ESG Advisory practice.

Dani Williams

Dani Williams

Senior Principal Consultant, Governance Lead

Dani is a Principal Consultant and the technical lead on all governance work undertaken by the ESG team.

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News

ACA Group Acquires Catelas to Create Industry-first 360 Surveillance Offering

The acquisition of Catelas further enhances the holistic surveillance capabilities of ACA’s RegTech platform. Catelas’ patented technology automates the mapping of how people connect and form groups within a firm, isolates collusion risk, and detects high-risk behaviors.

ACA Group and the Investment Adviser Association Announce Strategic Partnership

ACA Group (ACA), a leading provider of governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) advisory services and technology solutions, today announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with the Investment Adviser Association (IAA), a leading organization dedicated to advancing the interests of investment advisers.

ACA Group Continues to Enhance Compliance Team with New Hires: Former CCOs, Examiners, and General Counsels

ACA has recently welcomed several new members to our investment adviser practice, all of whom bring years of experience and skills to the team. These additions help us accommodate the developing regulatory landscape and meet our client’s specific needs.

Upcoming events

Senior Management Obligations under the SM&CR - 30 September 2021

The ever-increasing focus by the Regulators on the accountability of senior management, particularly when things go wrong, emphasises how important it is for individuals in senior positions to have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. This succinct course is designed to assist Senior Managers to have a full understanding of what they need to do to achieve compliance with the rules under the obligations created by the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR).

Online Training