Dan McCrum: ESG ETFs did not shield investors from ‘German gangsters’

How ESG data, ratings and index providers struggled to spot red flags in one of Europe’s hottest fintech prospects

Jamie Gordon

Dan McCrum EEU

The story of failed German payment processor Wirecard is a teachable moment for ESG spanning billions of dollars of fraud, a narcoleptic chairman, Filipino YouTubers and even the Libyan dictatorship.

In 2018, Wirecard was lauded as the ‘German PayPal’ after entering the DAX 30 index. By June two years later, it was ejected from the blue-chip benchmark and its shares collapsed 98% overnight as auditor EY spotted a €1.9bn hole in its balance sheet.

Speaking at ETF Stream’s ETF Ecosystem Unwrapped 2023 event, Financial Times investigative journalist Dan McCrum said he first came across the company when an Australian hedge fund manager asked if he was interested in “German gangsters”...

This article first appeared in ETF Insider, ETF Stream's monthly ETF magazine for professional investors in Europe. To read the full article, click here.

Featured in this article


No ETFs to show.