While asset owners acknowledge that ESG data and analysis continue to improve, they are still looking for better data and tools for use in sustainable investment decision making.
This is according to recent qualitative interviews conducted with some of the largest asset owners in the world for the second annual Morningstar Voice of the Asset Owner Survey.
Portfolio Manager, $20 billion Australia-based Superfund:
“I’m probably less concerned than I was about 5 years ago about the volume of products. I’m probably more concerned about the quality of those products… Most of the ESG tools are very equity-heavy; it is really hard to have a portfolio-wide view, or to have even an asset class view of any kind of ESG risks, opportunities or broader themes beyond equity.”
Chief Investment Officer, $64 billion State Treasury Fund:
“I think what the entire industry struggles with is standardization of data but then also access to complete data or decision useful data itself. That is certainly something that needs to improve and will continue to be a focus as it relates to evaluating each company. It certainly needs to improve and evolve but we are making progress as we go.”
Thomas Kuh, Head of ESG Strategy, Morningstar Indexes:
“The sustainable investment landscape is rapidly evolving and asset owners are working very hard to keep up with the changing dynamics of this market. Our recent survey tells us that, from financial markets, to the environment, to regulatory trends and other factors, asset owners are continually looking for more and better data and tools to help them make the right decisions on behalf of their key stakeholders and beneficiaries.”
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