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Expert Voices: Hamilton Lane ESG head Paul Yett

Jul 29, 2022
Photo illustration of Paul Yett with abstract shapes.

Photo illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios. Photo: courtesy of Hamilton Lane

This week we're talking with Paul Yett, the director of ESG and sustainability at private investment firm Hamilton Lane.

Why he matters: Hamilton Lane is a private equity giant with roughly $901 billion in AUM. Yett is responsible for leading and executing the firm's ESG practices, with a focus on what ESG reporting the firm will conduct ahead of the SEC disclosure rules vote.

What in your view was the big story this week?

  • We’re most certainly watching the shift in sentiment regarding support for President Biden’s 40% carbon reduction plan by 2030. In combination with the U.K. looking to reduce fossil fuel consumption 15% for energy independence from Russia, these are public policy moves towards decarbonization — for obviously different reasons.

What would you add to the narrative?

  • There is a notion that private companies will be immune to ESG/climate data reporting and even that taking a public company private will allow some avoidance of these requirements. However, as we’ve already seen in many instances across the globe, decarbonization is going to happen through public policy and regulation. It feels inevitable, and the notion that private companies may be immune is incorrect.

By contrast, what’s being underreported or under-covered?

  • Many of the ESG reporting frameworks are working more closely together to coalesce on specific reporting KPIs, and carbon emission reporting and diversity reporting seem to be at the forefront. It is worth talking more about what it will take for private companies to provide reporting en masse on these metrics.
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