The business imperative for ESG & Impact investing: From why to how
From de-carbonisation to ensuring companies are well run by teams as diverse as their customer bases, ESG agendas are often underpinned by expansive, ground-breaking goals. The challenge for private equity firms which aim to deliver on these goals, and the institutional investors that align to them is comprehensive and detailed implementation. In this session, senior industry leaders will offer unparalleled insights into how they approach ESG as well as their views on where we are heading and how to get there.
- What does ESG mean to GPs from a pure business perspective?
- How do you develop a responsible investment framework?
- How do you evaluate and measure ESG performance?
- What is the difference between impact and ESG?
Navigating reporting and disclosure requirements
As the focus moves from integrating ESG to ensuring accurate disclosure and measurement, the risk of over-reporting and over-compliance is becoming increasingly high. The lack of a standardised and recognised measurement system and challenges over data transparency/quality are the biggest threat to effective ESG disclosure. As regulators and industry bodies continue to work on a unified approach to reporting and disclosure, our esteemed panel will debate the best way forward for the industry.
- Regulatory overview in Asia: where are we heading?
- Reporting and disclosure: how to get to a unified reporting framework?
- Data and digital solutions: what is needed for quality and transparent data collection and measurement?
- Compliance: how real is the risk of over-reporting/over-compliance?
Benchmarking Your Journey through Asia’s ESG Maze
This year, Morrison Foerster together with AVCJ surveyed 100 senior ESG and C-level executives of Asia head-quartered private equity funds, credit and special situations funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance asset managers and pension funds, to take the pulse of how far they have gotten on their ESG journeys. For the very first time in Asia, our survey findings will provide practical tips for Asia fund managers to benchmark themselves against their peers and find out how they can make progress in their ESG investing in the region.
Managing climate change transitional risk
Climate change and sustainability issues are becoming the single largest influencing factor on investment decisions. Climate change considerations are becoming an integral piece of the ESG puzzle, in line with LP expectations and regulatory action. Fund managers need to set up science-based targets, reliable standards, and strong reporting mechanisms to manage transitional risk when it comes to climate change. A panel of experts will share their views on how GPs are tackling climate change risk in their existing and new investments.
- How should you incorporate climate change risk in your portfolio, and how do you perform due diligence going forward?
- What is the current state of play for carbon exchanges and credit?
- How do you tackle net zero through an Asian lens?
- What is the best way to manage transitional risk on climate change?
ESG in practice: Portfolio affairs
Convincing entrepreneurs in Asian businesses, especially in emerging markets, that implementing an ESG framework and policy would be beneficial to their bottom line is not an easy task and only part of the challenge. Investment in supporting infrastructure is needed so that initiatives can be applied and tracked properly, thereby generating relevant performance data. This must happen consistently across the portfolio with the information flowing upwards from GP to LP. Only then might the big picture objective gradually move within reach. In this session, a panel of GPs and entrepreneurs will discuss the way forward.
- How do you sell ESG implementation to your company founders? Do they see it as value added or a cost?
- How do you overcome obstacles in collecting ESG data from portfolio companies?
- Is it harder to incorporate ESG in emerging markets, especially with minority ownership?
- What are some ESG success stories at the portfolio level in Asia?
ESG as a value creator: From people to governance
As ESG comes to the forefront of decision making, private equity firms are increasingly realising ESG can become a force for driving value rather than a risk management exercise. This change of pace can create opportunities for GPs who are well advanced in their responsible investment journey. A group of leading investors will offer their insights into how to capture the opportunity set as well as what they are doing on the fund and portfolio level to get ahead.
- How have GPs changed the operating model to incorporate ESG, and how has this affected investment decision making?
- What are the differences between governance practices across Asia, and how difficult is it, given local nuances, to implement appropriate governance standards?
- How do you benchmark diversity, equity, and inclusion KPIs?
- What are the challenges when dealing with cybersecurity risk?
ESG considerations: An LP view
As ESG engagement, implementation, and debate gathers momentum, LPs are increasingly scrutinising their investment decisions and factoring ESG into their allocations. This has significant implications for GPs as well as the LP–GP relationship. A panel of senior LPs discuss their views on how they evaluate GPS when it comes to ESG performance and the key challenges they face in monitoring and measuring that performance.
- Are LPs increasingly making go/no-go decisions based on ESG performance?
- What is the LP view on reporting and disclosure?
- What are LP expectations from their GPs when it comes to ESG, and how much does it vary from region to region?
- How should you overcome data challenges?
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