Gilbert Van Hassel discusses leadership in sustainable investing and the S&P Global partnership deal.
“The asset management industry has seen many changes recently, perhaps the most exciting of which being the rate that sustainable investing has gained in popularity. Initiatives to tackle the major global problems of our times are opening up new markets, creating opportunities and producing more jobs. Clients are increasingly looking to build more sustainable portfolios, to meet the demands of their sponsors, participants and regulators.”
“And then there is the socioeconomic perspective and the many associated global challenges faced by our generation. While prioritizing growth above issues such as climate-change risks might lead to better returns in the short term, the long-term prospects for such a strategy are less rosy.”
“Rapidly becoming mainstream in Europe, we have seen sustainable investing gain ground in Asia and the US, too. But while many asset managers have added ESG integration to their list of services, the way in which they go about this differs greatly. However, with investors showing an increasing interest in the impact of their investments, one thing is certain – the impact has to be tangible.“
“Sustainability is important for everyone these days. We have seen many asset managers claiming to be leaders in this field, but only a few can say that it’s been part of their core business for more than 20 years. Robeco launched its first sustainability product in 1999. It’s not something we just do on the side; it’s part of the company’s DNA and fully integrated into all our investment processes. This won’t change – we will stay at the forefront and keep pushing the boundaries; so it is certainly an opportunity.”
“When I think about what we’ve done over the years, I believe it is the ability to translate intellectual property into investment solutions. We aim to add value by really understanding what is happening in the markets. Data is sourced from multiple parties, analyzed across the company and combined with a layer of proprietary research to find true value. We use the results of this process to create innovative solutions, including factor and sustainability-based investment strategies.”
“We integrate ESG across the board and have more than EUR 128 billion of ESG-integrated assets under management. Although our clients have now come to expect this from us, we want to stay at the forefront of SI and respond to the ongoing shift in client focus to other important areas. We have nearly EUR 15 billion of assets under management in sustainability-focused investments aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and tackling other major global development issues of our times. We have also been very successful with our new range of SDG strategies. But as logical as it may sound, integrating SDGs into investment processes requires an enormous amount of work and research. So, as we often say, research really forms the basis of everything we do.”
“We have agreed to build on our successful relationship with S&P Global by transferring our ESG data collection activities and Corporate Sustainability Assessment to them. These are currently carried out by our sustainable investing center of expertise, RobecoSAM. We have been working with S&P DJI since 1999, when the DJSI World was launched based on CSA data.”
“The teams on both sides have known each other for many years and successfully completed many projects together. Providing financial markets with market insights, like ESG data, is the core competence of S&P Global and thus strategically a perfect fit. The embedding of RobecoSAM’s CSA activities into S&P Global will enhance the scale of the operations, usage and volume of the data and services – which will benefit all stakeholders. Companies providing the data are better off when the data is used as broadly as possible, which will be much more the case when S&P has taken over the CSA .”
“The deal with S&P Global is in line with Robeco and RobecoSAM’s strategy, in which we focus on our key asset management capabilities. We rank among the best in the world for these areas of expertise.”
“Once the deal with S&P is finalized and the ESG data collection activities are part of S&P Global, Robeco will still work closely with S&P Global and provide advice on the CSA methodology. Robeco and RobecoSAM will continue to use their resources and collective research expertise to interpret ESG data and use it for investment purposes. We will pull from as many data sources as possible, including the CSA, to understand this information, research it and integrate it into our decision-making processes.”
“We are absolutely convinced that this is in the best interest of all our clients. Robeco will continue to use the very powerful SI data in the same way. Transferring the data team to S&P Global means we are putting them in the best possible position for future growth and to stay relevant. While the CSA data will remain one of the main ESG data sources for our SI research, we will also continue to use other valuable data sources alongside it.”
“RobecoSAM and Robeco will be involved in the further development of the CSA methodology. This will ensure that emerging and financially material ESG issues relevant to investors continue to be captured in the assessment.”
“We incorporate ESG factors into all our investment processes, which is a huge undertaking, as it is a fundamentally different way of doing things. Whereas traditionally investing has been all about alpha, we work to create both wealth and well-being. Many fund managers are still struggling to raise their game with respect to ESG integration and often keep ESG teams on the side.”
“At Robeco, SI drives our decisions across the company and is a long-term force for change. We firmly believe that ESG should be integrated into mainstream investing, and are moving increasingly towards outcome and impact-oriented solutions. Our strong focus on research and intellectual property gives us the tools to provide tailor-made SI solutions that meet modern-day investing needs. And that is precisely how we stand out from the crowd.”
The contents of this document have not been reviewed by the Securities and Futures Commission ("SFC") in Hong Kong. If you are in any doubt about any of the contents of this document, you should obtain independent professional advice. This document has been distributed by Robeco Hong Kong Limited (‘Robeco’). Robeco is regulated by the SFC in Hong Kong.
This document has been prepared on a confidential basis solely for the recipient and is for information purposes only. Any reproduction or distribution of this documentation, in whole or in part, or the disclosure of its contents, without the prior written consent of Robeco, is prohibited. By accepting this documentation, the recipient agrees to the foregoing
This document is intended to provide the reader with information on Robeco’s specific capabilities, but does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell certain securities or investment products. Investment decisions should only be based on the relevant prospectus and on thorough financial, fiscal and legal advice. Please refer to the relevant offering documents for details including the risk factors before making any investment decisions.
The contents of this document are based upon sources of information believed to be reliable. This document is not intended for distribution to or use by any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.
Investment Involves risks. Historical returns are provided for illustrative purposes only and do not necessarily reflect Robeco’s expectations for the future. The value of your investments may fluctuate. Past performance is no indication of current or future performance.
Please read this information carefully.
This website is prepared and issued by Robeco Hong Kong Limited ("Robeco"), which is a corporation licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong to engage in Type 1 (dealing in securities); Type 4 (advising in securities) and Type 9 (asset management) regulated activities. The Company does not hold client assets and is subject to the licensing condition that it shall seek the SFC’s prior approval before extending services at retail level. This website has not been reviewed by the Securities and Futures Commission or any regulatory authority in Hong Kong.
2. Important risk disclosures
2. Important risk disclosures Robeco Capital Growth Funds (“the Funds”) are distinguished by their respective specific investment policies or any other specific features. Please read carefully for the risks of the Funds:
3. Local legal and sales restrictions
The information contained in the Website is being provided for information purposes.
Neither information nor any opinion expressed on the Website constitutes a solicitation, an offer or a recommendation to buy, sell or dispose of any investment, to engage in any other transaction or to provide any investment advice or service. The information contained in the Website does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation and was prepared without regard to the specific objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person who may receive it. An investment in a Robeco product should only be made after reading the related legal documents such as management regulations, prospectuses, most recent annual and semi-annual reports, which can be all be obtained free of charge at www.robeco.com/hk/en and at the Robeco Hong Kong office.
4. Use of the Website
The information is based on certain assumptions, information and conditions applicable at a certain time and may be subject to change at any time without notice. Robeco aims to provide accurate, complete and up-to-date information, obtained from sources of information believed to be reliable. Persons accessing the Website are responsible for their choice and use of the information.
5. Investment performance
No assurance can be given that the investment objective of any investment products will be achieved. No representation or promise as to the performance of any investment products or the return on an investment is made. The value of your investments may fluctuate. The value of the assets of Robeco investment products may also fluctuate as a result of the investment policy and/or the developments on the financial markets. Results obtained in the past are no guarantee for the future. Past performance, projection, or forecast included in this Website should not be taken as an indication or guarantee of future performance, and no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding future performance. Fund performance figures are based on the month-end trading prices and are calculated on a total return basis with dividends reinvested. Return figures versus the benchmark show the investment management result before management and/or performance fees; the fund returns are with dividends reinvested and based on net asset values with prices and exchange rates of the valuation moment of the benchmark.
Investments involve risks. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. Potential investors should read the terms and conditions contained in the relevant offering documents and in particular the investment policies and the risk factors before any investment decision is made. Investors should ensure they fully understand the risks associated with the fund and should also consider their own investment objective and risk tolerance level. Investors are reminded that the value and income (if any) from shares of the fund may be volatile and could change substantially within a short period of time, and investors may not get back the amount they have invested in the fund. If in doubt, please seek independent financial and professional advice.
6. Third party websites
This website includes material from third parties or links to websites maintained by third parties some of which is supplied by companies that are not affiliated to Robeco. Following links to any other off-site pages or websites of third parties shall be at the own risk of the person following such link. Robeco has not reviewed any of the websites linked to or referred to by the Website and does not endorse or accept any responsibility for their content nor the products, services or other items offered through them. Robeco shall have no liability for any losses or damages arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained on websites of third parties, including, without limitation, any loss of profit or any other direct or indirect damage. Third party off-site pages or websites are provided for informational purposes only.
7. Limitation of liability
Robeco as well as (possible) other suppliers of information to the Website accept no responsibility for the contents of the Website or the information or recommendations contained herein, which moreover may be changed without notice.
Robeco assumes no responsibility for ensuring, and makes no warranty, that the functioning of the Website will be uninterrupted or error-free. Robeco assumes no responsibility for the consequences of e-mail messages regarding a Robeco (transaction) service, which either cannot be received or sent, are damaged, received or sent incorrectly, or not received or sent on time.
Neither will Robeco be liable for any loss or damage that may result from access to and use of the Website.
8. Intellectual property
All copyrights, patents, intellectual and other property, and licenses regarding the information on the Website are held and obtained by Robeco. These rights will not be passed to persons accessing this information.
10. Applicable law
The Website shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Hong Kong. All disputes arising out of or in connection with the Website shall be submitted to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Hong Kong.