Asset Management Awards for Excellence 2019 – Best Fund Provider – ESG Investing

Best Fund Provider ESG Investing




Tom Keenan

regional head of wholesale, Asia ex-Japan, Robeco

“Robeco and RobecoSAM have been involved in sustainability investing for nearly a quarter of a century. Over this time, we have adapted and improved our methods and strategies in the face of changing markets and the evolving needs and expectations of our clients. Our long history of innovation and enhancing our sustainability products and services has only been possible because of our shared beliefs, values, and purpose regarding our research as well as our portfolio management and active ownership teams.

Sustainability investing is not something asset managers can switch on overnight — it takes firm-wide commitment to develop close cooperation between expert teams, and it takes trustworthy data to properly run sustainability strategies and ESG integration analysis.

We believe our unique sustainability culture, combined with our sustainability research and our leading ESG integration approach, is what sets us apart from others.”

Winners rationale

An early-mover that has recognised the potential of sustainability to enhance investment returns since the 1990s, Robeco stood a cut above the rest in 2018, with a raft of initiatives to further the uptake of responsible investing among Asia’s private clients.

In partnership with its sister company RobecoSAM, Robeco launched the RobecoSAM Smart Mobility strategy in Hong Kong and Singapore in July 2018, adding to its already extensive range of sustainable investing solutions which include mainstream funds with ESG integration, ESG funds, thematic strategies, and impact funds.

With a view towards achieving long-term capital growth via investment in listed companies involved in the electrification of the transportation sector, the strategy raised approximately US$100 million in less than two months since its launch on the Credit Suisse platform in August 2018. That followed another successful launch in Japan earlier in the year, Robeco’s Daiwa SBI Global EV Revolution strategy — an electric vehicle sub-advisory mandate.

Underpinning Robeco’s product performance is a business philosophy which integrates ESG data and intelligence from research databases into investment processes, while actively engaging with portfolio companies. Proprietary to RobecoSAM, the databases include Corporate Sustainability Assessment, Country Sustainability Ranking, and Smart ESG scoring.

Having identified Asia as a strategically important market, Robeco has been paving the way for the region’s uptake of sustainable investing in recent years by advocating its benefits through educational roundtables and client briefings. It also hosted ‘Robeco Explore: Sustainability Investing’, the largest sustainability investing event in Asia.

Last year also saw Robeco — one of the first asset managers to become a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) — receive the highest possible score in the UN PRI assessment.

Little surprise, then, that private banking gatekeepers selected Robeco as Asian Private Banker’s Best Fund Provider – ESG Investing.

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