Conway Williams, Head of Credit and Michelle Green, Chair of the ESG Committee at Prescient Investment Management
Leading systematic investment firm, Prescient Investment Management (PIM), has released its Responsible Investing Report for 2023 that provides insight into the changing world of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) frameworks as many industry participants ask tough questions around its applicability for investment decision-making.
The report unpacks the concepts of Responsible Investing, how PIM embeds ESG into its investment process, and talks to PIM’s approach to sustainable investing. It also references some of the key projects in which PIM have participated during 2023. Aimed at both institutional and retail investors, as well as trustees and other stakeholders, the report offers key insights into navigating the realm of responsible investment.
Conway Williams, Head of Credit at PIM, emphasises the global significance of the ongoing ESG discourse: “We are cognisant of the global debate around ESG, and we believe it’s an incredibly important discussion. Too many people are simply equating ESG with ‘doing good,’ rather than recognising it as an integral part of a formal investment process.”
Renowned as one of South Africa’s leading systematic investment houses, PIM distinguishes itself with a data-rich investment process. This process combines data-driven insights, empirical evidence, and a team of experts that aim to deliver on client promises. Notably, PIM developed its own responsible investment approach, which included a decision to build its own ESG methodology instead of adopting off-the-shelf products, utilising this proprietary approach across its investment universe, including its infrastructure debt funds.
The first is the Prescient Clean Energy and Infrastructure Debt Fund (CEIDF), which invests in initiatives that facilitate infrastructural, environmental, and socio-economic impact and development in southern Africa. To date this fund has deployed over R4bn in 28 renewable energy projects and infrastructure opportunities.
The second is the Prescient Infrastructure Debt Fund that was launched in September 2021 and currently manages R1.6bn in assets. The offering follows a broad infrastructure mandate, giving investors access to generally inaccessible clean energy and infrastructure assets which offer returns uncorrelated to South African equity and capital markets.
Williams further noted: “We continue to highlight the pivotal role of ESG as a risk management tool, affirming that recognising and integrating ESG considerations into investment practices are essential steps towards fostering long term sustainability. The report underscores that viewing ESG through the lens of risk management is crucial, as it allows stakeholders to make informed decisions that align with both financial objectives and sustainable principles”.
Michelle Green, Chair of the PIM ESG Committee concludes: “ESG is here to stay but for ESG to enact meaningful change, however, the industry must make a collective effort – there should be a common assessment methodology: a framework that ensures ESG is rigorously evaluated and implemented across the investment spectrum in a standardised and consistent manner.”
PIM reiterates its commitment to championing the integration of ESG principles, not merely as a moral imperative but as a strategic approach for creating enduring value in the investment landscape.
The report can be downloaded below…
About Prescient Investment Management
Prescient Investment Management (Pty) Ltd (PIM) was founded in September 1998 and is a leading systematic investment manager that relies on a data-rich investment process to create financial certainty for our clients in an ever-changing world. By combining the power of data-driven insights, empirical evidence and the right team of experts, PIM has delivered superior risk-adjusted returns across its broad range of mandates for more than two decades.
PIM specialises in portfolio and risk management, managing money on behalf of retirement funds, medical aid schemes, corporate entities, trusts, and individuals. Its investment solutions range from unit trusts and retirement fund portfolios invested in all the listed asset classes through to infrastructure and clean energy debt funds.
PIM is a Level 1 BEE Contributor, a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investing (UN PRI) and pledged to the Codes for Responsible Investing in South Africa (CRISA).
Prescient Investment Management is an Authorised Financial Services Provider (FSP 612).