Bank of America Private Bank, Merrill has made focus ESG executives

Although a Growing backlash Among Republicans investing in ESG, Bank of America is doubling down on ESG in its wealth business, and is betting on the viability of this trend.

financial giant collage With several executive appointments at ESG in August following the CEO’s comments Brian Moynihan In May, financing the global transition to a greener economy was a “big business opportunity”. Last week, the bank announced that it had created and filled a role focused on developing new ESG-themed products and encouraging advisors to apply ESG strategies in their practices.

Julia Shin joined Merrill in September as ESG’s Executive Director of Integration and Innovation for Products and Platforms, according to a Bank of America spokesperson. Shane will be followed by Keith Glenfield, Managing Director and Group Head of Investment Solutions.

A spokesperson for the bank said the bank has also expanded the roles of two other wealth executives who will partner with Shane on ESG. Both executives are members of the Sustainable Investment and Impact team, which is part of the principal investment office supporting Merrill Bank and Private Bank. Anna Snyder, who was CIO’s Head of Due Diligence, will now also lead CIO’s ESG strategy. According to her, Snyder has a background in researching alternative investments at Bank of America LinkedIn profile. Sarah Norman, who was SSI’s chief strategist in the CIO’s office, has also expanded her role and is now head of the ESG thought leadership there.

In her previous role, Shane was the Managing Director of Impact Investment at Enterprise Community Partners, A.J It is based in Maryland A nonprofit foundation that funds affordable housing programs nationwide. However, she has a background in corporate and investment banking. Sheen’s LinkedIn profile says she began her financial services career on Wall Street at Goldman Sachs, then moved to a position with Citigroup before joining the nonprofit fold.

When asked why she chose Bank of America, Sheen said in an email that she commended Moynihan’s commitment to “responsible growth” by adopting ESG in her business and recognized the “thoughtful engagement by both lines of business to incorporate the meaning of responsible growth for our business and customers, especially in the face of Rapidly evolving challenges and solutions. She also noted her team’s support for an innovative approach to their work and the “tremendous The possibility of influenceShe used to work at Merrill, one of the largest wealth corporations.

“Julia has a unique and highly impressive skill set that makes her uniquely qualified to provide broad-based leadership and communication – across the end-to-end customer experience,” Glenfield said in an emailed statement. He added that the bank wanted to “make it easier for customers to benefit from our investment capabilities in a way that reflects their financial situation, opinions and preferences.”

Shinn’s position was created “in response to customer feedback and interest,” Glenfield said, indicating that wealthy clients are still interested in investing in ESG and reflects the bank’s continued expectation of significant long-term customer demand in this area.

The impact investment page on Merrill’s website claims that more than a third of client assets – more than $53 trillion – globally could eventually be invested under some form of ESG strategy. By 2025. A. was martyred Report 2021 by Bloomberg Intelligence that called ESG a “gold rush” in Europe, where it first became popular, and predicted that the US and Asia would be next.

The move also comes a year after the White House signed the Green Energy Bill into law, guaranteeing billions of dollars in funding for green energy and climate-friendly policies in the next decade. Bank of America is looking to pounce on some of that. Earlier this year, other wire companies took similar steps, hiring Wells Fargo for the first time ever Chief Sustainability Officer in April.

However, in the past year, skepticism has emerged in public debates about ESG, and critics have pointed to frequent “greenwashing” in The so-called ESG funds, which sometimes have labels of virtue painted on them that do not appear to be fixed in the activities of the listed companies. On the right, ESG is also under attack as GOP lawmakers seek to punish those who support the approach, which they view as “awakening.”

Bank of America recently participated in a lawsuit with other US banks against Kentucky Attorney General Because, he claimed, he stifled his commercial freedoms by requiring that strict limits on ESG disclosures be maintained for all banks.

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