Pension Fund Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism

CFA AOS event on Closing the Remaining Gaps in ESG Mandates for Asset Owners

“It’s impossible for one particular actor in the industry to achieve zero because we are so interdependent. Realizing that interdependence is the first step to push universal ownership into practice – we need to make sure we hold each other accountable.”
Hiro Mizuno
UN Special Envoy on Innovative Finance and former CIO of GPIF

As a diverse set of asset owners focused on the long-term, pension funds hold powerful levers for global change, investing more than $23-trillion for the long-term interests of retirees, across markets and portfolios facing environmental and social challenges. Yet, many portfolio managers lack ESG mandates and other standard tools to direct how—or whether—their external managers apply ESG guidelines in deploying their capital to invest in sustainable businesses.

That is why the CFA Society New York Asset Owner Series™ (AOS) hosted a May 2022 event—How to Close the Remaining Gaps in ESG Mandates for Asset Owners—focused on ESG mandates and work of the Pension Fund for Inclusive Capitalism, which developed model ESG contracts to help pension funds and asset owners establish minimum ESG guidelines for their investment agreements with asset managers.

Flexible across a range of scenarios, approaches and public or private markets, model language offers portfolio and legal teams pragmatic tools for directing asset manager to invest in line with their ESG priorities, including:

Model Mandates

  • Individualized approaches
  • Standardized approaches
  • Criteria-based approaches
  • ESG-related commitments

Voting Rights

  • Proxy language
  • Investor rights
  • Manager guidelines
  • Record disclosure


  • Regular requirements
  • Interim updates
  • Diligence and research
  • Adverse developments

Factors and Criteria

  • ESG factors
  • Sample language
  • Engagement guidelines
  • Investment restrictions

In the May AOS event, pension fund managers and thought leaders discussed how model ESG contract and mandate language can help close the remaining gap in ESG investing, establish a common baseline for negotiating ESG arrangements with asset managers and address what is missing from asset owner investment options to crate long-term value.

The model language for public and private market investments is open-source and available at the below resources.

Downloadable Assets

ESG Model Contract

Presentation Deck