DWS Group, the asset management arm of Deutsche Bank, has reportedly launched a new internal probe in connection with allegations over its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosures.
The firm has hired US law firm Sullivan & Cromwell for the fresh investigation, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter.
The troubles for DWS started after its former sustainability head Desiree Fixler said that the company exaggerated its sustainable investing criteria to manage its assets.
It is currently being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the US Department of Justice and German watchdog BaFin.
According to a source, the asset manager appointed the law firm to represent it in its dealing with SEC.
The scope of the investigation goes beyond allegations raised by Fixler, the source revealed.
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A DWS spokesperson refused to comment on the report.
Fixler alleged that DWS overstated its sustainability strategy and occasionally mislead the investors.
In August, the $1 trillion asset manager refuted the allegations and said that it stands by its annual report disclosures.
At the time, DWS said in a statement: “We firmly reject the allegations being made by a former employee. DWS will continue to remain a steadfast proponent of ESG investing as part of its fiduciary role on behalf of its clients.”
According to Bloomberg, Fixler was dismissed by the firm a month before it published an annual report with exaggerated ESG figures.
This week, DWS partnered with BlackFin to jointly develop the digital investment platform into a platform eco system that offers digital investment solutions and services to distribution partners, institutional investors, and retail customers.