Join our community of smart investors

Chuka Umunna: “I’m often bemused by the old advocates who still bang on about shareholder primacy”

The IC interviews the former MP Chuka Umunna who is now head of ESG at communications firm Edelman
Chuka Umunna: “I’m often bemused by the old advocates who still bang on about shareholder primacy”

Chuka Umunna was once touted as a future leader of the Labour Party. In this week’s IC Interview, he explains why you may be able to do more good in the world of business than politics.

The former shadow business secretary had a more turbulent 2019 than most. A staunch Remainer, he left Labour to form the pro-European Union Change UK party in February. Just four months later he jumped ship to the Liberal Democrats, before ultimately losing his seat to the Conservatives in December’s general election.

Now, like many uprooted members of parliament, Mr Umunna is carving out a career in the private sector. As head of ESG at communications firm Edelman, one of many companies to launch an environmental, social and governance division in recent years, he advises businesses and asset managers on meeting the growing demand for responsible investments.

In this podcast, he tells Oliver Telling why more executives are considering their impact on the environment, society and other stakeholders. He also weighs in on how politicians should support a green transition, and how the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic thus far has been “a catalogue of incompetence and failure”.


Looking for more?

If, like Mr Umunna, you think implementing ESG is a proxy for good management, the IC can get you on track to a more responsible portfolio. Subscribe today to gain full access to the stories below.

Green is good

In this award-winning article, Algy Hall explains how to become a genuinely responsible investor.

Lessons from history: How do you measure company ethics?

Mr Umunna says the EU is developing its new standards for ESG accounting “with gusto”. A look back at the turbulent history of financial number-crunching shows why it should act fast.

Ideas Farm: The price of environmental risk

But how exactly should investors use the available data on companies' greenhouse gas emissions and water usage? The IC explains why it may be most useful to measure environmental impact in terms of £s and $s.