Maple-Brown Abbott has long recognised that ESG risks and opportunities have the potential to impact long-term financial returns. We know that better insights lead to better decisions, and so we have adopted an approach that factors ESG considerations into our Asian equity portfolio management.

Our responsible investment approach includes the consideration of ESG factors in the fundamental investment analysis, company engagement and proxy voting across all securities. Our ESG approach relies on in-house research and bespoke frameworks, with the Asian investment team supported by a dedicated ESG investment specialist. Our proxy voting activity is informed by third-party research, with all voting decisions ultimately determined by the investment analyst.

Each investment specialist identifies and assesses, in consultation with our ESG investment analyst, the ESG factors relevant to their industry and stock coverage.  A discussion of these factors is included in each research report, and the valuation impact, where material, is either explicitly factored into company's earnings forecasts, or implicitly through the determination of the terminal value or discount rate valuation adjustments.  Identified ESG factors and valuation implications are discussed between investment analysts and portfolio managers and outcomes of these discussions are used by portfolio managers in constructing their portfolios. 

As a long-term investor, our approach to investing in Asian equities enables us to have deep insight into the companies we own, and specialist knowledge of regional ESG trends and drivers. This means that we engage with companies on the ESG issues that we believe are most material, covering topics from governance and ownership structures to renewable energy and data privacy. What works in one country may not in another, and our regional expertise allows us to adopt relevant ESG strategies to achieve better outcomes.