Leading fund manager scales ESG presence in Asia

A leading fund manager announced plans to expand its sustainability expertise through three new hires in Asia.

Robeco said "over the coming years" it will appoint three sustainability specialists in Singapore to provide localised ESG expertise across the region. This team will be an extension of Robeco's Sustainability Investing Centre of Expertise - a global team of over 35 client portfolio managers.

Robeco opened its Singapore office in 2016, establishing its regional fixed income hub in Asia as an extension of its global fixed income team. In addition to growing ESG expertise, Robeco will hire two new fixed income research and investment professionals.

With the new hires, Robeco said it expects to introduce more Asian versions of its sustainability-focused strategies available in other markets.

Robeco offers three types of strategies within its sustainable investing offering - sustainability inside, Sustainability focused and Impact investing. Sustainability focused strategies have an explicit sustainability policy and target, alongside financial targets.

"Expanding our investment and ESG capabilities in Singapore moves us towards the next phase of growth following five years of successful operations here," said Robeco Singapore chief executive officer Nyan Patel. "With sound financial infrastructure and regulatory support, Singapore is strategically important for us as a gateway to engage with clients in the region."

Robeco introduced its first sustainable equity strategy in 1995 and launched an Asian sustainable equity strategy in 2020.

At the same time, Robeco also announced plans to scale up existing ESG education and training activities in Singapore.

Robeco has launched e-learning modules under Robeco Essentials since October 2018 and has worked with clients, research institutes and institutes of higher learning in Singapore.

"Whether it is analysing ESG data, integrating climate change considerations or maximizing shareholders' value through active ownership, Robeco has deep knowledge to help investors in Asia meet their sustainable investing objectives," Patel said. "With local specialists to anchor on-the-ground initiatives, combined with our extensive global experience, we expect to capture even more growth opportunities in ESG and become a leader in sustainable investing in Singapore. Our Singapore expansion will also contribute to Robeco's ambition to achieve net-zero emissions across all assets by 2050."

Robeco has had a presence in Asia Pacific since 2005 including Sydney and Melbourne.

Robeco's Asia Pacific equities investment team is based in Hong Kong and the Shanghai office provides on-the-ground Chinese A-share research to Robeco investment teams globally.

Read more: RobecoNyan PatelCentre of Expertise