ESG engagement on the rise: CFSGAM

ESG engagement on the rise: CFSGAM

There has been an increase in scrutiny and engagement from investors on a range of issues relating to responsible investment, says Colonial First State Global Asset Management (CFSGAM).

In its annual responsible investment (RI) report, CFSGAM said clients are demanding further transparency and accountability when it comes to responsible investment and stewardship disclosure.

CFSGAM chief executive Mark Lazberger said: “The financial services industry is in a constant state of change, particularly in the area of governance, and our clients are now, more than ever, demanding increased transparency and accountability in our reporting.

“We believe improving the quality of our communication with clients and other stakeholders on how investors manage complex environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues is critical for building trust in the financial services industry.”

According to the report, CFSGAM has developed an interactive online report with content relating to RI issues.

CFSGAM global head of responsible investment Will Oulton said: “Transparency and disclosure are important components of effective stewardship.”

“This year, we are focusing on disclosing more detail on how RI and stewardship adds value to our investment processes by the inclusion of additional metrics for each investment team as well as significantly improving the depth and interactivity of the report online.

“This report should clearly demonstrate the long-term benefits of integrating ESG factors into investment decision-making and ownership practices,” said Mr Oulton.

The report includes case studies to explain how ESG integration adds value.

Infrastructure companies were analysed in the effort to demonstrate how the firm factors in ESG considerations into investment decisions.

CFSGAM argued that assessing ESG factors helps to decide whether the firm holds shares in specific companies.

“While there are many reasons to invest responsibly, we would not do it if we did not believe that it was in the long-term interests of our clients,” Mr Oulton said.

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