SINGAPORE, S.G. – Three fund management subsidiaries of the United Overseas Bank (UOB) have pledged to invest responsibly, going on to sign the United Nations-backed guidelines according to the statement published by the mainboard-listed lender on Sunday.
On January 2, 2020, three UOB-owned fund managers, UOB Venture Management, UOB Asset Management, and UOB Global Capital, sworn to the PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment). The PRI is a set of willful pledges to take into account environmental, corporate governance (ESG), and social issues when investing.
UOB has regarded itself as the first-ever Singaporean bank that has investment subsidiaries to sign on to the global principles backed by the United Nations since it was published in April 2006.
Currently, over 2,800 investment companies all over the world have signed on to the PRI.
Meanwhile, out of all the investment companies in Singapore, there are a total of 29 firms who are currently signatories to the PRI, excluding the UOB Global Capital as it is registered in the US.
The latest addition to the list of PRI signatories in the country is the Lion Global Investors, which is a subsidiary of the Great Eastern Holdings investment arm of the OCBC Bank. The investment firm signed the PRI only last January 3.
Among other PRI signatories in the country is the Tsao Family Office, which administers and manages the assets of the shipping family, as well as the Axiom Asia Private Capital and Equis, among many others.
Aside from the recent signing of the UOB Asset Management on to the PRI, the investment firm is also currently planning to incorporate ESG principles in all its evaluation and approval of classes for investment assets in 2020. According to Thio Boon Kiat, the chief executive of UOB Asset Management, the firm aims to improve its evaluation process, mainly by incorporating key analysis and technology. The UOB Asset Management CEO further stated that they are working towards using artificial intelligence and help engage their portfolio companies to boost their ESG practices further.
With its plans lined up for this year, the UOB Asset Management aims to further its services. Going forward, the investment management could offer more funds that are ESG focuses and in line with the sustainable development vision of the United Nations, said Mr. Thio. The plan includes 17 goals that aim to better overall investment processes for companies firms like the UOB Asset Management, among others. The goals include eradication of the world’s vital problems such as poverty and hunger by 2030, as well as a move to counter climate change.