SEC Charges Goldman Sachs Asset Management for Failing to Follow its Policies and Procedures Involving ESG Investments

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (GSAM) for policies and procedures failures involving two mutual funds and one separately managed account strategy marketed as Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investments. To settle the charges, GSAM agreed to pay a $4 million penalty.

The SEC’s order finds that, from April 2017 until February 2020, GSAM had several policies and procedures failures involving the ESG research its investment teams used to select and monitor securities. From April 2017 until June 2018, the company failed to have any written policies and procedures for ESG research in one product, and once policies and procedures were established, it failed to follow them consistently prior to February 2020. For example, the order finds that GSAM’s policies and procedures required its personnel to complete a questionnaire for every company it planned to include in each product’s investment portfolio prior to the selection; however, personnel completed many of the ESG questionnaires after securities were already selected for inclusion and relied on previous ESG research, which was often conducted in a different manner than what was required in its policies and procedures. GSAM shared information about its policies and procedures, which it failed to follow consistently, with third parties, including intermediaries and the funds’ board of trustees.

Source: SEC.gov | SEC Charges Goldman Sachs Asset Management for Failing to Follow its Policies and Procedures Involving ESG Investments