Litigation and Enforcement: Asset Manager Self-Reporting of Greenwashing Regulatory Breach

December 16, 2022

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) issued three infringement notices to the Australian unit of a large U.S.-headquartered asset manager for greenwashing infringements. The breach involved three funds that were set up to exclude certain tobacco investments but excluded only manufacturers of cigarettes and related products, not companies involved in the sale of such products. The ASIC was concerned that the disclosure statements for these funds “may have been liable to mislead the public by overstating an exclusion, otherwise known as an investment screen.” The asset manager described the omission in the disclosure statement as an “inadvertent error” and an “unintended misdescription” that “did not result in any adverse financial impact on investors.”

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