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Fund Managers Call for Asia-Specific ESG Strategies

Regional asset managers must be able to describe the impact of their sustainable investing strategies in order to win over more investors


A farmer removes dead plants from his parched paddy field on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India. Photo: Reuters

 

Investments in Asia-Pacific environmental, social and governance (ESG) assets in Asia are expected to soar this year as more governments make net-zero emissions commitments.

However, asset managers must be able to describe the impact of their sustainable investing strategies in order to win over more investors.

Steven Billiet, Asia-Pacific at BNP Paribas Asset Management, which administers more than $200 billion in sustainable assets, told a virtual conference this week that there was growing interest in and appetite for ESG investing in Asia.

He said investors wanting to invest according to ESG priorities would need to identify strategies that would have an impact.

It is important for funds to be more “specific” about their sustainable investing products and strategies, Eric Nietsch, Singapore-based head of ESG for Asia at Manulife Investment Management, said.

“What’s becoming increasingly important is that we are specific and clear about what exactly it is that we’re trying to do [with an ESG strategy],” Nietsch said.

This is especially important in Asia as the region faces increasingly pressing ESG vulnerabilities, such as threats to water supplies and biodiversity.

The fund managers attended the virtual Financial Times Future of Asset Management Asia conference.

 

  • George Russell

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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