Alternative Investments/ESG: Morgan Stanley To Debut In ETFs With Four ESG Equity Funds

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The Morgan Stanley ETFs will likely list by end-2022.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), which coined the term “exchange traded fund” in the 1990s, is making a comeback into the $6.9 trillion ETF market with four socially conscious and sustainable funds under the Calvert label that will invest in US and international stocks. Though late to the party in terms of both ETFs and ESG, Morgan Stanley will bring to bear its $1.4 trillion AUM and marketing muscle on a market that recently saw the advent of the Capital Group and Neuberger Berman. (Bloomberg)

Morgan Stanley filed Tuesday for the following ETFs, though it did not disclose their expense ratios and tickers:

  • Calvert International Responsible Index ETF
  • Calvert US Large-Cap Core Responsible Index ETF
  • Calvert US Large-Cap Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Index ETF
  • Calvert US Mid-Cap Core Responsible Index ETF

According to the ETFs’ prospectus, Calvert seeks to identify companies that operate in a manner that is consistent with or promotes: environmental sustainability and resource efficiency (such as reducing carbon emissions and managing water scarcity); equitable societies and respect for human rights (such as promoting diversity and gender equity across workplaces, marketplaces, and communities); and accountable governance and transparency (provide responsible stewardship of capital in the best interests of shareholders and debt-holders).

The asset manager is targeting ESG when the category has suffered diminishing investment inflows. In 2022 investors have plugged in just $4.5 billion into ESG funds compared to the previous two years which netted inflows of more than $30 billion each.

Meanwhile a so-called “anti-ESG” ETF – the U.S. Energy ETF (DRLL) – has already raked in $100 million in AUM.

Related Story: An “Anti-ESG” ETF, Backed By Thiel And Ackmann, To Gun For Fossil Investing

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