12th November, 2018
Renaissance Harbour View Hotel, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
What is needed to drive the growth of ESG across Asia in the private equity industry?
According to the GSIA, sustainable investments under management reached US$52 billion in Asia in 2016. In the private equity space, whilst government pension funds and sovereign wealth funds in the region have been spearheading the integration of ESG into their investment processes, the uptake from other industry players has been slower. This can be attributed to the rapid growth in emerging markets and the misconstrued belief that there is a performance trade-off that comes with sustainable investing. Join key industry players in a discussion to explore the macro and micro factors affecting regional opportunities in ESG investing, as well as dispel misunderstandings, and shed light on how ESG relates to the bottom line.
- What is the current state of play of ESG integration across Asia?
- What are some regulations, policy drivers, and best practices that different countries have adopted?
- How can ESG screening can help reduce investment risks in emerging markets?
- What can local fund managers learn from their European counterparts in terms of ESG and responsible investing?
Fireside Chat – Impact investing in Asia: How has the discussion moved along?
Networking and coffee break
A practical guide to setting up an ESG framework
There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to responsible investing. Therefore, for GPs that are taking their first concrete steps in developing a policy framework, knowing where to begin can be a challenging task. Hear on-the-ground advice from global and regional GPs that have successfully implemented ESG strategies within their investment process and learn from others that have only recently set up their own ESG policies.
- What sort of practical challenges have experienced funds faced when implementing ESG into their business strategy, and is there anything they would have done differently?
- What are the very first steps you should take as a firm?
- When setting up a policy framework, what criteria should be taken into consideration? E.g. international standards, size of fund, and jurisdiction.
- Who in the team should be responsible for driving ESG initiatives and how can ESG policies be integrated across the deal team? Is there a need for an ESG officer in a team, and what skills are required?
Case study: The role of private equity in delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Private equity has the potential to drive change at scale and speed. Hear the perspectives of a top ESG and sustainability leader from the global industry association for private capital in emerging markets, EMPEA, who will discuss the latest trends in impact investing and potential frameworks for metrics, with analysis from EMPEA’s recent practitioner-led report on “Private Equity’s Role in Delivering the SDGs.” Learn more about how investors in Asia can make commercial returns while delivering social impact and how to navigate the challenges, as well as what LPs need to know before investing in an impact fund and selecting a fund manager.
Developing a meaningful ESG reporting framework
Although more private equity firms are ramping up their policy frameworks to become more ESG compliant and are engaging with their portfolio companies on responsible investing issues, there are still GPs that do not have adequate reporting systems in place. Without a standardised ESG framework and a lack of ESG data in the market, this has led to confusion amongst private equity firms on what the best approach should be when it comes to reviewing risks and undertaking due diligence on issues such as governance, emissions, and regulations. At the same time, there are firms that view reporting and ESG monitoring as merely a checkbox exercise. Listen to our panel of speakers debate on what can be done to ensure that a firm constructs a meaningful ESG reporting system throughout the investment process.
- How can we avoid ESG investment from becoming a ‘tick-box’ exercise and instead have a meaningful reporting output?
- What are some risks and opportunities that can be identified during the due diligence process?
- How can smaller firms effectively implement an ESG framework?
- How can signatories to international frameworks such as UNPRI ensure that they have proper systems to collect data and compile reports?
Case study: Why should ESG be part of a firm’s value creation strategy?
Listen to an example of an Asian private equity firm that has successfully integrated ESG within one of its portfolio companies, influenced it to become fully ESG compliant, and ultimately achieved superior returns as a result. Understand their rationale behind embarking upon socially responsible investing, the processes they took to integrate ESG policies, and the challenges they faced.
Networking and coffee break
LP perspectives on responsible investment
Although fund performance remains top priority when it comes to fund manager selection, LPs are increasingly engaging with GPs to ensure that they have effective ESG investment mandates set up before they commit capital. In recent years, investors have become exposed to higher levels of risk, and this is particularly evident in Asia, where LPs have been making more investments in emerging markets. Join our panel of leading LPs in discussing the top priorities they take into consideration when selecting, engaging, and monitoring an ESG compliant GP.
- As an LP, what sort of ESG factors need to be considered before selecting a fund manager?
- For LPs investing in emerging markets, what are some additional ESG risks that should be considered?
- What are the sort of expectations regional and global LPs have on GPs in terms of their commitment to ESG across the investment lifecycle?
- How can LPs effectively engage and monitor GPs to ensure ESG compliance?
Case study: GP’s internal ESG responsibilities
Globally, LPs are prioritising GP behaviour as a concern, and are looking into ways to understand issues such as corporate governance and diversity within a firm. Hear from an example where a GP effectively implemented ESG standards within their own company, and the steps they have taken to ensure that their culture and policies are reflective of what they expect from their portfolio companies.
Moderated by industry leaders, the roundtable discussions focus on trending sectors in the ESG space and cover topics such as regulatory issues, impacts on businesses, as well as responsible investment opportunities.
- Climate change including single-use plastics
- Cybersecurity and data privacy
- Corporate governance and anti-corruption
- Labour and supply chain
Close of conference