Goodwin launches impact and responsible investing practice

ESG assets are among the fastest-growing in the private equity space, rising $8.1 trillion between 2012 and 2014.

Global law firm Goodwin has launched an impact and responsible investing practice in the US in response to increased awareness among investors of environmental, social and governance issues.

The practice will be co-led by private equity lawyers Luciana Aquino-Hagedorn and Liz Roberts, alongside corporate finance and securities lawyer Laura Hodges Taylor and energy lawyer Elise Zoli.

The team will advise on ESG-related legal matters including ESG and sustainability certification, benefit corporation formation and certification, immigration law compliance, foreign corrupt practices act compliance, tax exempt status and the employee retirement income security act.

Firms with impact investment strategies aim to have a measurable social or environment impact while generating strong financial returns for investors.

Worldwide assets in the ESG space increased by over 60 percent between 2012-2014, or by $8.1 trillion in real terms, according to data from the Global Sustainable Investment Review.

“Impact and responsible investing is among the fastest growing, most prolific forms of global financial innovation,” said David Hashmall, chairman of Goodwin.

The private equity community is increasingly focused on ESG. In August, asset manager KKR launched a program to reward its most eco-friendly portfolio companies with a financial prize, as reported by pfm.

In the same month, the California Public Employees' Retirement System's board of administration has adopted a new ESG five-year strategic plan, naming six strategic initiatives to support the American public pension fund's efforts in sustainable investing.

Goodwin is also a member of the Global Impact Investing Network, a platform for like-minded investors to meet and take part in activities that build the impact investing industry from a practitioner’s perspective.

Private Equity International's global impact investment forum is being held in association with GIIN in December. Find out more here.