Deepening a Commitment to Sustainability, GSAM Acquires a Leading Impact Investing Firm

ThemeS: Leadership | Clients

Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) acquires ESG and impact investing innovator Imprint Capital Advisors in 2015, underscoring its commitment to ESG investing and further broadening the investment opportunities and advice it can offer clients.

In 2015, Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) acquired Imprint Capital Advisors (Imprint), an innovator in environmental, social and governance (ESG) and impact investing with more than eight years of experience advising ESG and impact portfolios. Goldman Sachs had a history of commitment to ESG issues, from the creation in 2005 of the firm’s Environmental Policy Framework to GSAM’s 2011 signing of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), a global collaborative established in 2006 in recognition of the increasing relevance of ESG issues to the practice of investment management.

Prior to its acquisition, Imprint had advised on 120 investments across asset classes and worked with 11 of the 25 largest US foundations. The Imprint acquisition deepened GSAM’s ability to deliver market leading ESG and impact investment opportunities, advice and portfolio analytics to its clients. As of August 2019, the firm held over US$35 billion in ESG and impact assets under supervision in the firm’s Consumer and Investment Management Division (CIMD) and involved more than 40 professionals.

In the years following the Imprint acquisition, Goldman Sachs pursued numerous additional programs and strategic initiatives focused on deepening its ESG, sustainability and impact activities. In November 2017, the firm hosted the first Sustainable Finance Innovation Forum to discuss market developments and innovations defining the next frontier of sustainable economic growth. The year 2019 marked the launch of Goldman Sachs’ Sustainable Finance Group (SFG), a new effort structured to address two significant long-term priorities in partnership with the firm’s global businesses: fostering more inclusive economic growth and combating climate change.

With respect to investment offerings, in 2018, GSAM launched JUST, an ESG-focused exchange traded fund (ETF) that seeks to provide clients with broad exposure to US large-cap companies that rank favorably based on certain ESG criteria. The same year, a GSAM money market fund invested in US government securities broadened its focus to help drive diversity and inclusion efforts by channeling business to women-, minority- and veteran-owned broker-dealers. In July 2019, GSAM endorsed the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Framework, established by sovereign wealth funds that collectively manage US$3 trillion in assets to accelerate the integration of climate change issues into the management of large, long-term asset pools and improve long-term returns.

This article was originally published as part of a series commemorating the 150th anniversary of Goldman Sachs' founding in 1869.