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AIMA, Simmons & Simmons launch ESG primer
Publication designed as a useful resource for asset managers in Asia
30 Oct 2020 | The Asset

The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) has published its ESG Primer for Asset Managers in Asia, which is designed to be a useful resource for asset managers in the region.

The primer, which is sponsored by international law firm Simmons and Simmons, includes key concepts and taxonomy; recent developments in Singapore, Hong Kong, and China; European Union regulations and implications for Asia-based asset managers; and a checklist for developing an environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy and roadmap.

Investors are increasingly incorporating critical ESG factors into their investment analysis and decision-making process, and the ESG legal and regulatory framework has been gaining momentum in the region, the two groups said in a statement.

“Hong Kong regulators have been gradually introducing more disclosure and reporting requirements to enhance the competitiveness of the city’s ESG investment market, and China has been pushing for green finance and investments," the statement notes. "Singapore has also been increasing regulatory oversight on the space over the years, most recently releasing three consultation papers on its proposed Guidelines on Environmental Risk Management for banks, insurers and asset managers.”

In an effort to support the alternative investment industry in ESG integration, AIMA has set up an APAC ESG Working Group, in partnership with Simmons & Simmons, which includes key ESG specialists and experts in the asset management industry across Asia and Europe.

Kher Sheng Lee, AIMA managing director, co-head of APAC and deputy global head of government affairs, says: “The APAC ESG Working Group focuses on regulatory engagement on emerging ESG regulations, providing guidance for asset managers thinking about integrating ESG considerations into hedge fund strategies, and fostering dialogue between members. This primer, which incorporates collective input obtained from leading regional managers, will be the first of future initiatives on this increasingly important topic.”

Grace Chong, of Simmons & Simmons JWS, adds: “We hope that the primer will be a useful resource for asset managers, so as to help them understand emerging developments in the ESG space, and facilitate meaningful conversations between asset managers, investors, and other stakeholders.”

The AIMA is the global representative of the alternative investment industry, with more than 2,000 corporate members in over 60 countries. AIMA’s fund manager members collectively manage more than US$2 trillion in hedge fund or private credit assets. Simmons & Simmons is an international law firm with around 280 partners and 1,300 staff working in Asia, Europe and the Middle East across 23 offices in 19 countries.

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