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Darius McDermott, Chelsea Financial Services
ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing in Asia still lags other regions, with assets in ESG-related mutual funds in the region amounting to just $12bn as of the end of March, which compares to $762bn in Europe and $441bn in the US, according to data from Morningstar.
However, traction for such products is slowly growing. Hong Kong’s regulator, for example, said that it had an increase in application for funds with a green or sustainability focus in the past year.
Private banks in the region are also seeing increasing demand. DBS Private Bank is now modestly expanding its ESG funds platform, while UBS Wealth Management’s sustainable mandate has reached $400m after it was launched in Asia in April last year.
However, not all distributors are easily convinced that ESG products will gain traction in the region. Claude Haberer, Asia CEO at Pictet Wealth Management, for example, said that it will take a decade for ESG to rise to prominence in Asia client portfolios.
Against this backdrop, FSA asked Darius McDermott, managing director of Chelsea Financial Services and Fund Calibre to compare two water products: the Pictet Water Fund and the Allianz Global Water Fund.
|Inception||Aug 2018||Jan 2000|
|Manager/s||Andreas Fruschki, Alina Donets||Cédric Lecamp, Louis Veilleux, Hans Peter Portner, Philippe Rohner, Peter Rawlence|
|Three-year cumulative return||–||21.33%|
|Three-year annualised return||–||7.95%|
|Three-year annualised alpha||–||5.30%|
|Three-year annualised volatility||–||11.29|
|Morningstar analyst rating||–||Silver|
|Morningstar star rating||–||****|
|FE Crown fund rating||–||***|
Source: Morningstar, FE Analytics