Alexforbes leads the way in responsible investing with most encompassing Stewardship Report in South Africa
3 May, 2023

Ann Leepile, CEO Investments at Alexforbes


South Africa’s largest multi-manager, Alexforbes Investments, has released its inaugural Stewardship Report for 2023. The report uncovers key insights and findings from the multi-manager’s 2021/2022 Responsible Investment (RI) engagements with 17 asset managers, which collectively account for R5.5 trillion in assets under management. Views were gathered from a varied cross-section of asset managers, asset classes and key stakeholders, including chief executive officers, chief investment officers and portfolio managers.


“We wanted to ensure that our findings provided a holistic perspective of the industry’s overall views on responsible investing and environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. The report reveals a range of perspectives from different types of asset managers, culminating into insights that provide the most comprehensive overview of the South African responsible investing landscape,” says Ann Leepile, CEO Investments at Alexforbes.


She says meaningful, constructive engagements have assisted Alexforbes in assessing ESG:


  • themes that asset managers have considered to be material to their business
  • risks and opportunities that key players in the industry have identified


“Ultimately, as custodians of multi-managed assets, we aim to create a clearer understanding of how ESG integration is practised from the research phase to the portfolio construction stage. This allows us to better understand how asset managers approach RI, how they have implemented their investment strategy and aligned it with RI practices, and what their high-level outcomes have been,” says Leepile.


Premal Ranchod Head: ESG Research, says within the stewardship context, the asset managers listed the importance of engagement, measurement, transparency and public disclosure.


Of the critical themes that asset managers categorised as a priority, social featured strongly at 39% of responses, followed by environmental at 35% and governance at 26%. Under environmental, the critical sub-themes were climate change, carbon exposure, climate reporting just energy transition, water scarcity and biodiversity. “The themes stated within these categories include net-zero emissions data, sustainable development goals (SDG) and the looming shift to cleaner energy generation,” he says.


ESG reporting – the practice of disclosing information related to how ESG factors are managed – is becoming increasingly important as investors, regulators and businesses acknowledge the significant risks and opportunities associated with ESG issues.


Leepile emphasises that Alexforbes has established its stewardship report to provide insights that give a comprehensive view on different factors relating to responsible investing, ESG integration and active ownership. “Effective stewardship is a fundamental part of our investment process. The insights gleaned help inform the management of risk and return dynamics within our multi-managed portfolio solutions,” she concludes.


Download the full report – click image below





Information on Alexforbes

 Alexforbes is a financial services group that impacts people’s lives by delivering insight and advice to individuals, employers and retirement funds. Listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.


@Ann Leepile
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