According to Saint-Pierre, the competition was inspired by another public competition organized by three UK institutional investors just before the COVID pandemic.
The idea behind both developments is that while ESG investment strategies are being promoted across the industry, the lack of standards around labeling creates the risk of greenwashing. With an open call, investment managers have to publicly state how sustainable and ethical they really are.
“We received offers from a wide range of firms, including investment boutiques, multinational investment managers and even emerging firms,” says Saint-Pierre. “From there, we will have a screening process narrowing down to nine finalists in three categories: equity, fixed income, and multi-asset.”
To accommodate the needs of investment institutions, the competition will include ESG strategies across a wide range of asset classes; Each competitive manager may present only one strategy for dispute. Managers can propose any strategy, whether focused on environmental, social or good governance objectives, but it must be readily investable within Canada.
Two ESG and finance experts, Milani and Normadin Beaudry, have agreed to independently verify the submissions.