The 7th China Social Investment Forum (China SIF), a platform for discussing Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) in China, was held at the Grand Hyatt Beijing on Dec 3rd, with the theme of ‘Opening-Up and ESG Investing’. Zengtao Wu, CMO of Southern Asset Management, spoke to the Forum on ‘Integrating ESG’ and his company’s experiences in developing ESG-based products.
According to the International Organization for Sustainable Development, ESG investment across the world’s five major regions reached US$ 30 trillion in 2018. However, in mature markets around the world, the return on ESG investment is only the same as MSCI index, while the return from emerging markets exceeds the MSCI market index by 60%.
ESG is an investment approach with a set of standards evaluating companies’ environmental, social and governance practices. As one of the leading local fund companies in asset management in China, Southern Asset Management has integrated ESG principles across its business operations and the entire investment process.
1. Implement ESG in corporate management and practice. With a steadfast commitment to social responsibilities, Southern Asset Management has been active in environmental protection and charity programs, while following green office practices such as electronic statements and paperless solutions in day-to-day operations.
2. Optimize ESG in corporate governance. Southern Asset Management instituted an employee stock ownership program in July 2019, with employees holding 8.53% of the company’s shares. A clear ownership structure will be conducive to the long-term development of the company.
3. Extend ESG principles for clients. Southern Asset Management engages in long-term, value-adding and responsible investment, searching for those valuable listed companies for sustained and steady returns for clients.
4. Develop active/passive ESG continuously. Southern Asset Management’s ESG investment philosophy integrates traditional financial analysis principles and provides customers with better investment returns while implementing ESG philosophy.
5. Share ESG practices. Southern Asset Management became a signatory to United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) in June 2018, sharing experience, knowledge and resources through UNPRI with global institutional investors practicing ESG, and making ESG investment an instrument for sound natural environment and healthy development of economy and society.
Southern Asset Management is dedicated to developing ESG-based products, taking into account not only financial performance, but also the fulfillment of social responsibilities. As a UNPRI signatory and member of the council of China ESG Leaders Association, Southern Asset Management seeks to develop ways for the Chinese market to embrace ESG, and joins hands with others in the constant pursuit of a better future.