Global asset owners see ESG as a core element of investing rather than a specialist niche, according to recent qualitative interviews conducted for the first annual Voice of the Asset Owner Survey.
And, when presented with the question of whether they consider ESG factors to enhance returns or create broader impact, most respondents consider ESG objectives as valid when pursued in tandem with financial objectives.
- “The tagline ‘Investing for a world worth living in.’ So, it’s about making those positive returns but also having a positive impact on society.”
- “We do see ESG as a financial factor, but we don’t see it purely as a financial factor.”
- “Our investment beliefs are that ESG doesn’t hamper returns, and in the long term will improve return over risk.”
Tom Kuh, Head of ESG Strategy, Morningstar Indexes
“The picture that emerges from the first phase of our asset owner survey is simultaneously one of progress and challenges. Importantly, while asset owners cited barriers, not one signaled a retreat from their ESG commitments. Reading between the lines, these investors understand that ESG is intended to address complex, interconnected problems that are not amenable to simple solutions. We look forward to diving deeper into these issues in the next phase of our survey in the coming months, when we take these qualitative observations and apply them to a broader quantitative global survey.”
If you have any questions on Morningstar’s Voice of the Asset Owner Survey, or would like to speak with Tom Kuh, please reach out to Tim Benedict at firstname.lastname@example.org or (203) 339-1912.