Singapore Fund Managers Expect Covid to Accelerate ESG Investing

A new survey by IMAS found that two-thirds of Singapore fund managers expect the adoption of ESG investing to accelerate as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

IMAS (Investment Management Association of Singapore) has found in a survey that two-thirds of Singapore fund managers believe the pandemic will accelerate the adoption of ESG investing.

“Before Covid-19 hit, we were already seeing strong sentiments about the adoption of ESG investments among our member firms,” said Rajeev De Mello, Chair of the IMAS Development Committee, noting that the IMAS 2020 Annual Survey, released in January, similarly ranked ESG as the leading future driver of investment growth in the next three years.

“The latest survey results put to bed that the adoption of ESG investments was a bull-market phenomenon,” he said.

IMAS has been actively promoting the adoption of ESG-principled investments, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, including work with MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) to co-create new guidelines for asset managers on environmental risk management.

In May, IMAS launched a new online learning platform for investment managers, known as IMAS iLearn. The industry body is currently developing an ESG investing module to educate the industry on how to apply the new MAS guidelines.

IMAS also promotes and administers the Singapore Stewardship Principles for Responsible Investors, and is part of the Advisory Group to the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) Asia Sustainable Finance Initiative, which helps Singapore financial institutions deepen their sustainable finance expertise.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the new survey found that more than six in ten (64%) of Singapore fund managers anticipate further monetary easing measures to aid the economic recovery.

When asked what their firm’s plan was to deal with the more challenging business environment, nearly seven in ten (68%) said they would increase adoption of technology to create flexibility to cope with future crises.

Half of the respondents said they will offer most employees the option to work from home, even when telecommuting is no longer mandated or prescribed by the government.

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