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Alternative Market Briefing

Global pandemic accelerated the pace of ESG investments by institutional investors

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Laxman Pai, Opalesque Asia:

The global pandemic has pushed institutional investors to amplify their efforts at ESG integration as critical risks and issues come to the fore, said a survey.

According to a new survey from MSCI, which draws from a survey of 200 asset owner institutions with assets totaling roughly US$18 trillion, over three quarters (77%) increased their ESG investments "significantly" or "moderately" in response to COVID-19.

Among the largest institutions, those with more than US$200 billion of assets, that figure rises to 90%, said the '2021 Global Institutional Investor Survey'.

The survey of sovereign wealth funds, insurers, endowments/foundations, and pension funds also found that 31% of the largest institutional investors believed the climate change will have the biggest impact on the way their organization invests over the next three to five years.

"The combination of climate-related events, such as devastating wildfires, floods and droughts, and a global pandemic have accelerated the paradigm shift on ESG and climate change. Once an issue for 'green funds' and side-pockets, ESG and Climate are now firmly established as high priority issues," said Baer Pettit, President, and Chief Operating Officer, MSCI. "2020 marked a profound shift in the way institutions invest as many investors have recognized that many companies with strong environmental, social and governance practices outperformed during the pandemic."

The survey r......................

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