More work is required by asset owners in order to accelerate the adoption of ESG principles by asset managers, according to research carried out by First State Investments. The finding came at a recent responsible investment forum held by First State, when 65% of respondents said asset owners could do more, with stronger mandates and more emphasis, to boost ESG integration by asset managers. Another finding was that 88% of those at the forum would invest in a company with a poor but improving ESG rating. In addition, 44% said that a move towards annual performance reporting would have the most impact in encouraging long-term investment and 36% said ending quarterly reporting of corporate earnings could contribute to this effect.
First State global head of responsible investment, Will Oulton, said: “The findings of our 2013 RI survey confirm that signals from asset owners have a significant role to play in helping to speed up the adoption of ESG factors into the investment process. Amongst one of the key issues debated was the role of investor engagement with companies. This is an area of continuing focus for us and one which is important to strengthen, both by our own direct activities and by collaborating with other investors where appropriate, and where we can add influence and value.”