Responsible Investing in Asia 2021

Raising the Bar for Sustainability

Capture Rising Opportunity

  • Evaluate receptivity among small and mid-sized asset owners to ESG
  • Explore trends in ESG thematic and impact investing strategies
  • Understand the challenges faced in adopting ESG integration and how to overcome them


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Manni Huang

Manni Huang

Associate Director, Account Management, Asia


Analyze progress made by asset owners, managers, and distributors in driving sustainable investing in the region. This report provides insights into various approaches to embrace ESG investing across asset classes, emerging mandates, and product trends.

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A Note from the Authors

How Can Global Managers Address Products Gaps as ESG Mutual Fund Launches Accelerate Across Asian Markets?

Leena Dagade

Leena Dagade

Associate Director

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Leena Dagade

Leena Dagade

Associate Director

Based in Cerulli's Singapore office, Leena is responsible for retail research in the Asian asset management industry. She is the lead analyst for the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) research practice in Asia and contributes to Asian institutional reports, Cerulli Edge publications, and consulting projects.  

Prior to joining Cerulli, she was a deputy editor for an online financial publishing firm, covering the asset and wealth management industry in Asia. Previously, she worked with a real-time financial news and market data firm and an asset management company. 

Full biography here.

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) fund offerings in the Asia-Pacific region grew rapidly between January 2020 and 3Q 2021, with at least 250 funds launched during the period, excluding negative/exclusionary screening products. Most asset managers and distributors Cerulli surveyed in the region intend to launch ESG-centric products in the next two years, and distributors are increasingly looking at asset managers’ ESG investment processes.

The opportunity for global managers is vast. Many local managers in Asian markets lack ESG expertise and would benefit from the guidance of global managers. Cerulli believes that global managers could help local managers launch ESG products through funds of funds, feeder funds, or subadvisory arrangements, especially in Southeast Asia and Japan, while registering offshore funds in markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore. Asset managers should also consider launching products that focus on aspects beyond the “E” of ESG, such as funds centered around the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Managers will also need to tailor their product offerings according to investors’ preferences in each market. For instance, ESG products with regular income features or that are blended with other themes have proven to be successful in Taiwan.

Assess the demand for various ESG themes and emerging opportunities in product development with our latest report, Responsible Investing in Asia 2021. Analyze ESG adoption by asset owners and explore their expectations of managers as asset owners take initiatives to insulate their investment portfolios from climate risk.

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