Asset Management Awards for Excellence 2020 – Best Fund Provider – ESG/Sustainable Investing

Best Fund Provider ESG/Sustainable Investing



Best Fund Provider – ESG/Sustainable Investing

Tom Keenan

CEO Robeco Singapore and regional head of wholesale Asia ex-Japan, Robeco

“Robeco has again stood a cut above the rest with its ability to offer solutions that not only deliver attractive investment opportunities, but also contribute to the well-being of the world.

In the case of our new SDG credit income strategy, the ability to deliver strong performance compared to similar income funds, while facilitating positive change through the SDG framework is a powerful combination, especially to yield-hunting Asian investors.

It’s great to make positive impacts, but as a fund provider, we also need to deliver compelling investment cases that generate returns for investors.

Robeco and RobecoSAM are among the early adopters of sustainable investing. Our long track record in developing these innovative solutions is of great value to our distribution partners in the years to come, as ESG investing is becoming mainstream in the region.”

Winners rationale

Robeco’s pedigree in ESG and sustainable investing is indisputable. As a pioneer of ’genuine’ sustainable investing, Robeco has applied ESG analysis to its mainstream investment process since 2010 and today offers a wide suite of sustainability-centric offerings, spanning ESG-integrated strategies, sustainability-focused strategies, and impact investment strategies.

Here in Asia, two offerings — RobecoSAM Smart Mobility and RobecoSAM Global SDG Credit Income — have caught the imagination of private investors since their regional launch and have delivered compelling investment cases while incorporating sustainability.

The RobecoSAM Smart Mobility strategy aims to capitalise on opportunities related to the electrification of the transportation sector, while the RobecoSAM Global SDG Credit Income strategy is an all-weather credit strategy that invests in companies that contribute to the UN’s SDGs.

As of end-August 2019, the Smart Mobility portfolio generated 26.18% year-to-date in EUR terms with an AUM of €122 million, while the SDG credit income portfolio, delivered 10.90% with €52 million in AUM (USD hedged) over the same period.

While not the only asset manager to place a steely focus on sustainability, Robeco stood out for its resourcing and engagement activities that proved critical to leading the industry through the earlier stages of ESG and sustainable investing and to setting standards and best practices in an area that has not yet fully matured.

The firm prioritises constant, active engagement with companies in its portfolios via its Active Ownership team, whose activities include voting at approximately 5,000 shareholder meetings per year in line with the principles of the International Corporate Governance Network.

And notably, the firm launched its ‘Sustainable Investing Essentials’ e-learning module in 2019, initially for Standard Chartered Private Bank in Asia and globally, and later for all investment professionals in Hong Kong and Singapore, to share its expertise in sustainability and enable bankers to better help clients achieve their investment goals.

This leadership augments Robeco’s already deep service practice in the region, spearheaded by a team of five wholesale distribution professionals, a China sales team of four, and a dedicated Asian marketing team.

Widely commended by private banking selectors for its pre- and post-sales service and content, Robeco demonstrated that its commitment in 2019 went beyond pure sales by providing genuine support, training, and insight to the benefit of its clients and the industry, making it Asian Private Banker’s Best Fund Provider – ESG/Sustainable Investing.

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