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Sustainability in the spotlight

SUSTAINABILITY is well on its way to becoming a top priority among governments, industry groups, companies and investors. In Asia-Pacific, adoption of the discipline of sustainable investing is reportedly mixed; Japan, Australia, and large institutions lead the way. But wealth managers and investors are catching on.

In Singapore a survey by the CFA Institute last year showed that 39 per cent of retail investors were “very interested” in investing with ESG (environmental, social, governance) principles, and a similar proportion indicated potential interest in the future. What’s more, two-thirds of those who invest with a values objective were willing to sacrifice some degree of return. Fortunately evidence is emerging that they need not forego returns, even with the Covid-19 crisis.

In this issue we present profiles in sustainability. Former corporate insider Robert Yap, now a personal investor, firmly backs sustainability. A major holding in his portfolio is the Sunseap Group, a leader in clean energy solutions. Entrepreneur Ankesh Shahra established Agrimax Ventures which aims to address the inefficiencies in global agriculture through technology. In our Roundtable, wealth and asset managers share how they have incorporated sustainability and ESG into portfolios and advisory processes. Sustainability efforts need the support of private capital; we hope to help widen and deepen that awareness and commitment.

 

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