The year 2019 was one of cataclysmic fire and rain. Wildfires swept across California, the Amazon, and Australia, and storms and floods deluged parts of six continents — a string of natural disasters that scientists say were caused by the changing climate. And in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has coursed through the world.
Historically, events like these — along with other concerns that are included in what Wall Street calls environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues — haven’t been a major business concern for most asset and wealth management (AWM) firms. As recently as 2016, only 10 percent of AWM CEOs counted themselves as “extremely concerned” that climate change could threaten their business’s growth, according to PwC’s CEO Survey. But that’s changing. In the 23rd Annual Global CEO Survey, which was released in January 2020, that share rose to 25 percent, and 62 percent of AWM CEOs expressed some