As published on internationalinvestment.net, Thursday 21 May, 2020.

The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) that has just published a comprehensive guide for the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) that's set to come into force in March 2021.

Ahead of implementation of the EU's Sustainable Finance Action plan, AIMA says it has had many conversations with its members who have concerns about the SFDR compliance process. The guide has been produced with the concerns of alternative funds in mind and includes a compliance checklist and key dates (as they stand) and hopes to open up industry discussion on how to best adapt to the EU Taxonomy Regulation.

The SFDR, designed to complement the EU's Taxonomy Regulation, has been described as the first real first step in the EU sustainability agenda. AIMA's key recommendations to policy makers as follows:

  • AIMA encourages policy-makers to recognize that the fiduciary duty and contractual relationship with the investor should remain at the core of an asset manager's investment strategy
  • AIMA also reminds policy-makers that not all strategies lend themselves to sustainability-related considerations. Diversity and heterogeneity of alternative investment strategies should be taken into account, notably in the context of building and developing a deep and liquid EU capital market union.

Peter Stapleton, head of funds and investment management at Maples and Calder, a law firm, told International Investment, "The Maples Group is seeing strong growth in all areas of sustainable finance across our global offices.

"We hope to use our expertise in this area to facilitate investment by some of the world's leading funds, financial institutions, banks and corporates into green assets. We have published a series of thought leadership papers on ESG including with Sustainable Nation, AIMA and members of the EU's Technical Expert Group. We intend to remain fully engaged with regulators, governments and the wider industry as the EU's Sustainable Action Plan comes into full effect over the next 36 months."