Our Take on ESG Investing
WisdomTree launched 15 years ago with a simple premise: to create a better investment experience. Each day we seek to fulfill this mission, whether by offering more transparent investment vehicles with our pure-play U.S. ETF family, providing exposure to traditionally hard-to-access asset classes and countries or designing methodologies that focus on the future growth and sustainability of the underlying companies.
As a long-time leader and believer in the need for clear purpose, diversification and full transparency in how investors allocate their money, ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing is a big part of WisdomTree’s approach. We believe there is a better way to invest and ESG is part of it.
Walk the Walk
We recognize that the importance of an ESG approach goes beyond just great products. For several years now, WisdomTree has been applying measures to be a more socially responsible company, as we continue to expand our own diversity, equality and inclusion efforts. We’re proud to have built a diverse and inclusive workforce across gender, race, age and ability, including in our leadership teams and on our boards. Our employee-led Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) events also showcase our commitment to equity in the workforce and are designed to empower women in our organization. WisdomTree Investments’ Sustainability Corporate Governance Committee keeps us accountable in our efforts to embed sustainability mandates at a corporate level.
Sustainability and responsibility are embedded throughout our organization, as we encourage initiatives around community service and being more eco-friendly. It’s our view that WisdomTree’s efforts to be a more socially responsible company benefit our investors, employees and shareholders.
Read our Corporate Social Responsibility report here.
Our ESG Offering
We believe, when combined with our traditional investment philosophy including diversification, transparency and tax efficiency, ESG considerations are a valuable additional risk or performance factor. We currently offer a family of broad-based U.S., international and emerging market equity strategies that combine the potential performance benefits of our multifactor methodology while reflecting ESG values to meet investors’ evolving needs. Our ex-state-owned methodology, introduced in 2014, underlines our conviction that government-owned companies, particularly in the emerging markets, can often have a negative impact on long-term performance. We offer three distinct ex-state-owned approaches in broad emerging markets, China and India. Additionally, WisdomTree recently became an UNPRI signatory.
Empowering Advisors and Their Clients
In a recent research study led by our Head of Advisor Innovation, Brad Shepard, we found that while 85% of advisors believe presenting ESG funds would improve their clients’ view of them, the majority of them don’t bring these investments up unless their clients specifically ask. That could be a missed opportunity.
We are committed to providing the necessary education and tools for advisors to feel comfortable and equipped to discuss ESG investing approaches with their clients, and to offer a level of transparency for investors themselves to make educated investment decisions.
Our mission to create a better investment experience continues with ESG.
Learn more about our ESG approach.
Important Risks Related to this Article
ESG investment strategy may limit the types and number of investment opportunities available to the Fund and, as a result, the Fund may underperform other funds that do not have an ESG focus. Companies selected for inclusion in the Fund may not exhibit positive or favorable ESG characteristics at all times and may shift into and out of favor depending on market and economic conditions. While the Fund is actively managed, the Fund’s investment process is expected to be heavily dependent on quantitative models and the models may not perform as intended.
Jarrett Lilien has served as President and Chief Operating Officer since September 2019. From November 2017 to September 2019, he served as Executive Vice President and Head of Emerging Technologies. Prior to joining the executive management team, Mr. Lilien served on WisdomTree’s Board of Directors from November 2008 to December 2017. Until his most recent role, Mr. Lilien was the Managing Partner of Bendigo Partners, LLC, a financial services focused venture capital investing and advisory services firm he founded in 2008. From September 2012 to July 2014, Mr. Lilien served as the Chief Executive Officer of Kapitall Inc., an online investing platform. From 2003 to 2008, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer of E*TRADE Financial Corporation and earlier as President and Chief Brokerage Officer of subsidiary E*TRADE Securities. Prior to joining E*TRADE, Mr. Lilien spent 10 years as Chief Executive Officer at TIR (Holdings) Limited, a global institutional broker, which E*TRADE acquired in 1999. Mr. Lilien currently serves as President of the Jazz Foundation of America and is on the Boards of Directors of Barton Mines Corporation, Voyager Digital, and the Baryshnikov Arts Center. He previously served on the Board of Directors of ITG (NYSE: ITG), an independent execution broker and research provider, and served as interim CEO from August 2015 until January 2016. Mr. Lilien received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Vermont.