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Alternative Market Briefing

Appetite for ESG accelerates globally during a pandemic - survey

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Laxman Pai, Opalesque Asia:

The percentage of institutional investors incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors continues to grow globally, but so does the divergence between U.S. investors and those in other countries, said a survey.

New research from RBC Global Asset Management (RBC GAM) shows that three out of four (75%) institutional investors now incorporate ESG principles into their investment process, up from 70% last year.

The 2020 'Responsible Investment Survey' of 809 institutional asset owners, investment consultants, and financial advisers found that an increasing number of institutional investors believe ESG integrated portfolios are likely to perform as well or better than non-ESG integrated portfolios compared to 2019, going up from 90% to 97.5% in Canada, from 92% to 96% in Europe and from 78% to 93% in Asia.

However, respondents in the US are more skeptical of the performance of ESG integrated portfolios, as only 74% (down from 78% in 2019) believe they perform as well or better, and over a quarter of US respondents (up from 22% in 2019) believe ESG integrated portfolios perform worse.

This trend was also evident when respondents were asked about the ability of ESG integrated portfolios to generate long-term sustainable alpha and to mitigate risk.

The majority of institutional investors in Canada (70%), Europe (72%), and Asia (71%) believe adopting ESG factors can help generate long-term sustainable alpha, wh......................

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