In the Press
May 25, 2023

Marketing Rule Opens Door to ESG Enforcement (Regulatory Compliance Watch)

The SEC's proposed ESG disclosure rules have sat on the shelf for more than a year, but regulators are using the marketing rule to crack down on greenwashing and private fun advisers have every reason to worry, experts say. Greg Larkin, a Financial Services and Private Investment Funds partner, says he and his colleagues have been "preaching caution on ESG disclosure both due to the marketing rule requirements but also because of the general focus on ESG from the SEC examination and enforcement staff." "The marketing rule implications include not just the substantiation requirements but also the balance of benefits and risks and occasionally third-party ratings and awards," he tells RCW. "Private fund advisers need to be clear as to how ESG factors play into the investment process, including on the point of if or when ESG factors or criteria are not determinative and when investment decisions are made — even if ESG criteria are not met."