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UBS Wealth says ESG portfolio at $400m in Asia

The firm believes that the sustainable investing portfolio has resonated well with female investors.
Marina Lui, UBS Wealth Management

APAC-sourced assets of UBS Wealth’s sustainable cross-asset portfolio, which was launched in Asia in April last year, doubled to at least $400m from $200m in September, said Marina Lui, managing director and head of China at UBS Wealth Management, speaking at a recent media briefing in Hong Kong.

Globally, the portfolio now has around $3bn in assets, according to the firm.

In Asia, roughly half of the assets are new money, while the other half came from investments that were previously allocated to the bank’s traditional portfolios.

In the middle of last year, around 100 investors in the region, a majority of which came from Hong Kong, put money in the portfolio.

The firm’s balanced sustainable portfolio has slightly outperformed its non-sustainable portfolio for the full year 2018, Crystal Zhao, APAC asset allocation analyst, said during the briefing.

According to data from UBS, it has also outperformed the Hang Seng Index by 8%, she added.

Source: UBS Wealth

The bank has three versions of the sustainable portfolio: yield, balanced and growth. The portfolio composition is divided into categories, which the bank believes will help capture sustainable and impact opportunities. It has four categories under the strategy’s equity sleeve and three under the fixed income sleeve.

ESG and women

The update on the firm’s sustainable portfolio was announced at same event that had a presentation of survey results about
women’s “perspectives and behavior in financial management”.

The firm believes that sustainable investing resonates well with women, Lui said.

Without giving exact figures, Lui said that the percentage of female clients who have invested in the firm’s sustainable portfolio is “quite high”.

“We don’t have an exact number, but [most investors who first invested in the portfolio] were female clients,” she said.

In Hong Kong, more women are interested in investing in sustainable products than men, according to a survey conducted by the firm last year. In addition, 62% of female clients are expected to increase allocation to sustainable investments.

Source: UBS Wealth


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