Asian managers have ‘long way to go’ on ESG

GreenwashingAsian fund managers are lagging behind their global counterparts when it comes to ESG due diligence, suggests a new study. While ESG factors are increasingly considered as part of operations and investment decisions, less than half of the Asia-based fund general partners (GPs) surveyed conduct ESG due diligence on every deal. The survey, conducted by law firm Morrison Foerster, also found that more than a third of the 100 respondents always included ESG compliance clauses in their investment documents. One reason for the comparative lack of ESG due diligence is the “lack of regulatory bite” in the region. As many as 95% of the canvassed fund managers conceded that greenwashing has never been raised about their company or their funds. While the report concludes that many fund managers are still “at an early stage of their journey through the ESG maze”, the fact that many are not putting their ESG policies into practice is “potentially dangerous”. While both regulators and fund managers in Asia are generally behind those in other regions, regulatory scrutiny and greenwashing accusations are both likely to increase, according to the law firm. “GPs must therefore move quickly to drive their ESG practices forward with substantive policies, actions, and third-party verifications throughout the investment cycle or find themselves lagging significantly behind peers,” states the report. ©2022 funds global asia

Industry comments

Investing in tomorrow’s world

investmentAt times like these, HSBC Asset Management easily pivots towards emerging markets.

The spotlight on growth markets and the need to be nimble and dynamic is ever-sharper, given the difficulty in predicting monetary policy in the world’s major nations.

Sponsored feature: Navigating the complexities of FX execution and currency risk

A comprehensive, cost-effective, and transparent currency overlay hedging solution is crucial to mitigate FX exposure risks in the complex landscapes of Japan and China's FX markets, explains Hans Jacob Feder, PhD, global head of FX services at MUFG Investor Services.


Transitioning to an era of scarcity

The world is transitioning from an era of commodity abundance to one of undersupply. Ben Ross and Tyler Rosenlicht of Cohen & Steers believe this shift may result in significant returns for commodities and resource producers over the next decade.

Asia credit: An outsized winner in the region’s energy transition?

Ross Dilkes, fixed income portfolio manager at Wellington Management, examines the opportunities and risks for bond investors presented by the region’s decarbonisation agenda.

A quiet revolution in Japan’s corporate governance

revolution, Japan, corporate governance, Shareholders, corporate, governance, standards, improvement, Tetsuro Takase, SuMi TrustShareholders in Japan no longer accept below-par corporate governance standards. Changes are taking place, but there are still areas for improvement, says Tetsuro Takase at SuMi Trust.

Why rising demand for healthcare is creating investment opportunities in China

rising demand, healthcare, investment, opportunities, China, Robert St Clair, Investment Strategy, Fullerton Fund ManagementRobert St Clair, head of investment strategy at Fullerton Fund Management, explores the reasons investors should be paying attention to the rising demand for healthcare in China.

Executive Interviews

Executive interview: PGIM CEO on where the ESG flowers should bloom

Sep 27, 2021

David Hunt, president and chief executive of PGIM, tells Romil Patel about leading a top 10 global asset manager in times where “empowering and encouraging the kind of investment decisions as...

Executive interview: Nicolas Moreau’s orderly transition

Jul 12, 2021

Nicolas Moreau, CEO of HSBC Asset Management, is moving to Asia as the firm looks to connect more directly with the region’s growth story. ESG is also a key focus – including the ‘just’ carbon...


India: An “obvious choice for global investors”

Jun 22, 2023

Funds Europe, the sister publication of Funds Global Asia, hosted an India investment discussion with two seasoned experts and asked if India is the ‘last one standing’ from the Brics phenomenon. We also hear that for India, the inclusion of Indian bonds in a major index may not be the desired...

Roundtable: Singapore comes of age as an Asian ESG hub

Dec 01, 2021

Strong ESG credentials strengthen the case for Singapore as a leader in Asia of the post-Covid recovery. Our panel discusses the risks and opportunities.