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A Factor-Tilt Approach to ESG Investing


Iwata, Tsuyoshi; Weibel, Marc (2023). A Factor-Tilt Approach to ESG Investing. SSRN 4456943, University of Zurich.

Abstract

This research examines the incorporation of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into portfolio construction, focusing on identifying companies with strong ESG practices and their relationship with financial performance. Drawing on a US sample of companies and timely ESG data provided by RepRisk, the research proposes a relative approach for constructing a portfolio with a desired exposure to traditional risk premia while tilting the final portfolio towards a quantitative ESG objective. The methodology combines bottom-up and top-down approaches to identify a potential ESG alpha while neutralizing the relative exposure to risk premia associated with traditional factors. The findings indicate a significant and positive ESG premium in the US market while addressing criticisms regarding the lack of forward-looking ESG data. The study makes a novel contribution to the literature on ESG investing by demonstrating the potential of a more flexible and nuanced approach to portfolio construction that incorporates timely ESG information. The results have general implications for investors seeking to align their investments with ESG principles, achieve better risk-adjusted returns, and generate sustainable and resilient portfolios.

Abstract

This research examines the incorporation of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into portfolio construction, focusing on identifying companies with strong ESG practices and their relationship with financial performance. Drawing on a US sample of companies and timely ESG data provided by RepRisk, the research proposes a relative approach for constructing a portfolio with a desired exposure to traditional risk premia while tilting the final portfolio towards a quantitative ESG objective. The methodology combines bottom-up and top-down approaches to identify a potential ESG alpha while neutralizing the relative exposure to risk premia associated with traditional factors. The findings indicate a significant and positive ESG premium in the US market while addressing criticisms regarding the lack of forward-looking ESG data. The study makes a novel contribution to the literature on ESG investing by demonstrating the potential of a more flexible and nuanced approach to portfolio construction that incorporates timely ESG information. The results have general implications for investors seeking to align their investments with ESG principles, achieve better risk-adjusted returns, and generate sustainable and resilient portfolios.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Banking and Finance
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scope:Discipline-based scholarship (basic research)
Language:English
Date:25 May 2023
Deposited On:02 Aug 2023 08:50
Last Modified:27 May 2024 15:23
Series Name:SSRN
ISSN:1556-5068
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4456943
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:23742
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English