Sustainable Investing and Impact Funds

Ogier’s dedicated Sustainable Investing and Impact Funds practice has been established to assist clients in structuring, operating and investing in investment funds which contribute to an environmental and/or social objective, as well as advising on other sustainable investment transactions.

The team works with asset managers, corporates and investors looking to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into their operations and/or investment processes as well as those looking to achieve sustainability outcomes or impact.

Ogier is the first offshore law firm to establish a dedicated Sustainable Investing and Impact Funds practice, committed to providing thought leadership in this area. Many of our practitioners take part in shaping the responses of our jurisdictions to assist in sustainable investment and ESG initiatives in the finance industry through involvement in governmental, regulatory and industry groups. We are in a unique position to be able to offer cross-jurisdictional advice covering each of BVI, Cayman, Guernsey, Jersey, and Luxembourg laws.

In recent years we have witnessed a rise in green and sustainable finance particularly since the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, which called for "making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development". This has been evidenced by the creation of FC4S by the UN, members of which include Guernsey and Luxembourg, and specific initiatives taken by individual jurisdictions, including Guernsey's Green Finance Initiative with its strong links to the UK's Green Finance. 

In Luxembourg, LuxFLAG, the Luxembourg-based labeling agency, launched the Climate Finance Label in 2016 and the Green Bond Label in 2017 in order to improve the transparency of climate and green investments and to encourage investor confidence in this market. In 2016, the Luxembourg government joined forces with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to create the Luxembourg-EIB Climate Finance Platform, aimed at catalyzing investments in climate action projects. In 2020, the Luxembourg Ministry of Finance announced that Luxembourg was the first EU country to adopt a reference framework for sustainable bonds. The framework is compliant with the International Capital Market Association Green, Social and Sustainability Bonds 2018 principles. As part of the EU, Luxembourg has also incorporated the swathe of regulation that has evolved as part of the European Commission's action plan on sustainable finance in the domain of capital markets, including the ESG Disclosure Regulation[1], the ESG Benchmark Regulation[2] and the Taxonomy Regulation[3].

In the Channel Islands, the regulators have introduced requirements related to sustainability and climate disclosures. In July 2021, the Jersey Financial Services Commission published new disclosure requirements relating to sustainable investment which will apply to certified funds, certain fund services businesses, Jersey private funds and investment advisers. Meanwhile the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, in June 2021, published an amended version of the Guernsey Finance Sector Code of Corporate Governance which asks boards of companies to which the Code applies to consider the impact of climate change on their strategy and risk profile and, where they judge it appropriate, make climate change related disclosures.

The direction of travel is clear, with regulators around the globe introducing anti-greenwashing regulations and guidance as well as introducing frameworks to support the growth of sustainable investing.

Industry and private sector stimulus has also been an important contributor to the growth of standards and frameworks for ESG and sustainable investing. In 2005 the United Nations created the Principles for Responsible Investment to encourage institutional investors to commit to incorporating ESG factors into investment decisions in order to better manage risk and generate sustainable long term returns. As the understanding of the benefit of incorporating ESG considerations into investment strategies has grown, we have witnessed investors move beyond simple inclusion/exclusion portfolio decisions to strategies that assess and mitigate the ESG impact of all assets in the portfolio. In addition, sustainable investing has become increasingly important for our private equity clients as allocators have put greater emphasis on incorporating ESG assessments into their investment decision making processes, recognising the links between sustainability, long term asset growth and resilience of the global financial system.

Whether an asset manager is looking to evaluate ESG risk during its due diligence process, seeking to identify ESG opportunities to support ESG progress, or seeking to invest assets into enterprises creating deep social and environmental change, Ogier can help. We can advise from both the legal and regulatory perspective led by our team of lawyers and/or with the support of our team of sustainable investing experts comprising Ogier Global's Sustainable Investment and ESG consultancy. At Ogier we recognise that there is no-one-size fits all approach when it comes to sustainable investing and we provide tailored advice according to the needs of our clients.

Ogier is not simply outward looking in terms of its approach to sustainability, it strives to be a responsible and purpose led organisation. You can access the details of Ogier's approach to CSR here.

 

[1] Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019 on sustainability‐related disclosures in the financial services sector

[2] Regulation (EU) 2019/2089 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019 amending Regulation (EU) 2016/1011 as regards EU Climate Transition Benchmarks, EU Paris-aligned Benchmarks and sustainability-related disclosures for benchmarks

[3] Regulation (EU) 2020/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2020 on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment, and amending Regulation (EU) 2019/2088

Services

Funds

Advising on the structuring of investment funds, choice of domicile as well as advising on the ongoing fund operation and related regulatory advice.

Advising on fund disclosures as well as taxonomy alignment and regulatory compliance, including without limitation:

  • The EU's Disclosure Regulation
  • The EU Taxonomy Regulation
  • The Jersey Financial Services Commission disclosure requirements for sustainable investments

Green & ESG fund labels

Advising on recognised green & ESG fund designations such as under:

  • the LuxFlag Environment Label or LuxFlag Climate Label; and
  • the Guernsey Green Fund.

Directors duties

Advising on fiduciary duties of directors, including in connection with ESG considerations.

Governance

Advice on the governance of funds and asset managers including:

  • anti-bribery and corruption
  • anti-money laundering (AML) and reporting obligations
  • responsible outsourcing
  • data protection
  • regulatory training
  • drafting ESG policies and guidelines
  • Guernsey Finance Sector Code of Corporate Governance climate change disclosure requirements

The International Stock Exchange (TISE) Green segment

Advising on the listing of debt and equity securities on the TISE green segment

Luxembourg Green Exchange

Advising on the listing of securities on the Luxembourg Green Exchange

Guernsey Green Fund

Advising on fund documentation and the portfolio and governance requirements to obtain a Guernsey Green Fund designation.

Ogier CSR activities

To read more about our CSR policy click here

To view examples of Ogier's CSR activities click here

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