GLG Network Survey: ESG Investing

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The GLG Surveys team interviewed 90 ESG and non-ESG investors based in the US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Switzerland.

What will you learn from this survey?

  • The research assessed the importance of current environmental, social and governance issues for ESG investors.
  • Respondents commented on the most common exclusionary criteria for ESG investments and provided their views on the likelihood of investors starting to use UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of their investment framework.
  • Lastly, the survey looked into the key regulatory developments asset managers should be aware of that would influence their ESG practices and products.

Examples of findings:

  • 75% of the US investors believe that the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are extremely important as part of the investment framework for ESG investors, compared to 53% in Europe.
  • In Europe, 40% of the respondents stated that ESG investing is very likely to become a standard in the next 5 years for other funds similar to theirs, compared to 70% in the US.
  • Overall, 62% of investors agreed that the EU taxonomy is too binary in what it defines as green.


The GLG Surveys team drafted the questionnaire with the support of GLG Network Member, Christopher Boyd, former Senior Civil Servant at the Environmental Policy Development of the European Commission.

The standard deliverable includes:

  • 1 x Individual responses (“raw data”), in Excel.
  • 1 x PPT report with aggregated data.
  • In-depth PowerPoint report of survey findings presented by the Network Member via webcast (optional).


  • Nowadays, from your perspective, how important are the following ESG components to investors?
  • Which of the following are the top 5 most common exclusionary criteria for ESG investors?
  • In your view, what are the top 3 most important social issues for ESG investors?
  • From your perspective, how likely are companies to start using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of their investment framework?
  • Please rank the top 3 SDGs you think companies support the most.
  • Given the absence of global standardization in the space for ESG, in your view, how should active managers be thinking about making investment funds comparable?
  • From your experience, what are the top 3 biggest ESG challenges?
  • What are the main hurdles that face the industry around ESG?


The survey is available to subscribers of the Financial Business Services (FBS), Legal, Economic & Regulatory Affairs (LERA) and Accounting and Financial Analysis (AFA) sector (Limited subscriptions and above). Please contact your GLG representative for details on your firm’s access or click the button below to inquire.

Request other available and upcoming Network Surveys within the sector:

Financial Business Services (FBS), Legal, Economic & Regulatory Affairs (LERA) and Accounting and Financial Analysis (AFA):

  • GLG Tracker: Brexit Overview II New!
    • 80 c-level executives at UK companies with at least £100 million in revenue discussed the impact of Brexit on UK Business and expectations going forward following the exit from the EU.  
    • Questionnaire was drafted by Jonathan Portes, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at King’s College London. Second wave released June 2021. 
  • Geopolitics 
    • 45 geopolitical advisors and academia professionals will discuss the latest geopolitical issues in the world. They will cover topics such as regional/national military conflicts and their impact on the economy.  
    • Questionnaire will be drafted by Kenneth Pollack, Resident Scholar of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Data released March 2021. 
  • GLG Tracker: Non-Performing Loans II – New!​ 
    • Second survey to follow the first wave conducted in October 2020.  30 directors working in banks across Spain, Italy and Greece commented on the demand of Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) in Covid-19 times, whether they are seeing an increase in NPLs, potential supply of NPLs and the appetite for demand.  
    • Questionnaire was drafted by Najib Nathoo, Managing Director of the Rede Company and former CEO of Hoist Finance Region West. Second wave released June 2021.​ 
  • Payment Systems  
    • 70 executives in the payments space (AMEX, Visa, Stripe, WorldPay, etc.) commented on the impact of Covid-19 on the market trends in the payment space, transaction volume, competitive landscape.  
    • Questionnaire was drafted by Eric Grover, Principal at Intrepid Ventures who specializes in providing corporate development and strategy consulting to payment networks across the US and Europe. Data released October 2020.​ 
  • SPACs New!
    •  70 SPAC sponsors and investors discussed current attitudes and trends around this form of investment and provided their views on willingness to sponsor/invest in a SPAC in the European markets.  
    • Questionnaire was drafted by Benjamin Pell, Founder and Managing Partner at Verdene Group. Data released May 2021 


Please be advised that GLG Network Surveys operate differently than traditional GLG consultations, surveys, teleconferences, etc. and it is advisable that you consult with your firm’s legal and/or compliance department to review your use of the product and the payment for such work under your current subscription.

By downloading this document and/or participating in the Network Survey, you understand and agree that the information and material provided by GLG, including survey results and survey proposal information, is provided for your own insight and informational purposes only. You further acknowledge and agree that this is a Network Survey for multiple GLG clients, and the results will be provided to all GLG clients that agree to participate in the Network Survey and GLG clients that agree to purchase the Survey results in the future. All survey results do not constitute investment advice or a recommendation. In using this Survey, you agree to hold Gerson Lehrman Group and the Survey respondents harmless and free of all liability as a result of your use of this Network Survey, other than liability resulting from the gross negligence or wilful misconduct of the protected party. You otherwise agree to be bound by Gerson Lehrman Group’s Usage Policies in your interactions with Gerson Lehrman Group and your receipt of services. These Survey results are for are for client’s own use and client shall not redistribute, disseminate, publish, or display the same, in whole or in part, to any third parties or publicly without the prior written permission of Gerson Lehrman Group, except explicitly set forth in your agreement with GLG. This survey will be double-blinded to both client and respondent. GLG reserves the right to restrict the number of clients that can pre-commit access. These Network Surveys are priced outside of standard GLG subscriptions but at a substantially reduced price to commissioning a fully proprietary GLG Network Survey. Upon finding these terms acceptable, please send an affirmative confirmation via email, which GLG will file in its records. Once confirmed, please note that the Client’s agreement to purchase the Network Survey is a legally binding and irrevocable commitment. If the survey is not included within your subscription, GLG will invoice Client for the fees due for the Network Survey. Please note that some respondents may not be Network Members, and the Terms and Conditions of Network Membership would not apply to such respondents and detailed records for them will not be available aside from the information that GLG captures in the Network Survey.

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