U-M business professor explores making retirement fund investments more socially responsible


Dana Muir

Private-sector retirement funds in the United States control more than $3 trillion, traditionally giving little or no thought to the environmental and social impacts of their investments. But that may be changing, as both public pressure and government regulation place more emphasis on “ESG investing”—taking environmental, social and governance factors into account.

Dana Muir, professor of business law at U-M’s Ross School of Business, is researching best practices that encourage responsible investing by retirement funds and other institutional investors. Currently on sabbatical from U-M, she discusses her findings.

The Trump administration actively discouraged pension funds from taking action on climate change and other social goals. How specifically did they do that?

During the last year of the Trump administration, the Department of Labor issued regulations to discourage private-sector pension funds from considering ESG…

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