KUALA LUMPUR – Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad (“Affin Hwang AM” or “the Company”) together with its wholly-owned subsidiary AIIMAN Asset Management Sdn Bhd (“AIIMAN”) today reaffirmed their commitment in embracing environmental, social, governance (ESG) principles in their underlying investment process as signatories to the Malaysian Code for Institutional Investors (“the Code”).
Affin Hwang AM and AIIMAN became signatories to the Code a year ago on the 24 March 2017 and 22 March 2017 respectively. They join a list of 17 other local institutional investors & pension funds who have pledged to uphold the 6 principles stated in the Code including:-
- Disclosing Policies on Stewardship
- Monitoring Investee Companies
- Engaging Investee Companies
- Managing Conflicts of Interest
- Incorporating Sustainability Considerations
- Publishing a Voting Policy
Teng Chee Wai, Managing Director of Affin Hwang AM said, “We believe that institutional investors such as ourselves can play an important role in helping to champion the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) agenda and influence the behaviour of investee companies’ through an active and clear engagement strategy. We are here to serve our clients by investing in a sustainable manner so as to create long term value for our investors and society.”
The company recently appointed US-based Glass, Lewis & Co. (Glass Lewis), a leading independent provider of global governance services. Glass Lewis provides research reports with analysis and recommendation on every proxy vote and offers a vote management platform. The research will supplement the company’s existing investment research. In accordance with the Code, Affin Hwang AM will be disclosing its voting statistics from 2018.
The company also subscribed to MSCI ESG Research for its Asia coverage since last year.
On the alignment of ESG and Shariah principles, Akmal Hassan, Managing Director of AIIMAN says, “Our belief is that good governance ultimately leads to better financial performance and that it is not a trade-off when it comes to sustainability and performance. With increasing discussions on the commonality between Shariah and ESG principles, we expect there to be a wider offering of values based funds. In fact, Shariah-compliant investments are now widely considered a subset of the ESG universe. A new generation of investors have also become increasingly conscious about the wider ESG issues, whether its climate change, diversity or corporate transparency.”
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