AXA makes sustainable investing accessible to customers with ESG funds in its investment-linked plan fund offerings
AXA Insurance announced in early April that it is strengthening its sustainable investment offering with the addition of two investment funds which not only integrate sustainability in the investment process such as through negative screens, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) integration, and active ownership, but aim to positively contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Managed by leading global asset managers Mirova (an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers) and Robeco, who are specialists in sustainable investing, the Mirova Global Sustainable Equity Fund and RobecoSAM SDG Credit Income will be available to customers under AXA’s investment-linked plan (ILP) fund offerings. AXA is the first insurer in Singapore to be offering these funds.
Sustainable investing, be it ESG integration, socially responsible investing or impact investing, looks into targeted investments in companies or funds that prioritise sustainable and responsible operations so that along with profit, a positive impact is made on the world.
“AXA was bold in our sustainability ambitions when we were one of the first global financial institutions to start divesting from coal in 2015. Today as the second most responsible insurer according to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index 2020, we take ESG considerations into account in investment decisions for our investment portfolio, and invest in green assets and impact funds,” said Li Choo Kwek-Perroy, Managing Director, Life, AXA Insurance. “With the introduction of ESG funds, we are building on this momentum and making sustainable investing accessible to customers who may increasingly look to invest with purpose and not just for profit, offering them an avenue to do this via our investment-linked solutions.”
Awareness and interest in sustainable investing has been growing in Singapore in recent years, and beyond the desire to make a sustainable impact through their investments, investors are recognising the opportunities for enhanced investment returns as research has shown that it can offer better risk-adjusted investment returns over the long-term.
Believing in the value of sustainable investing, AXA will be working via their distributors to raise the awareness amongst customers who are interested in this type of investments. All AXA distributors will be well versed in the essentials of sustainable investing including how ESG information is integrated, trends and misconceptions as well as performance and results using case studies through an e-learning module offered by Robeco. The module is accredited by local and global institutes, including the CFA Institute, FPA and IBF-Singapore.
Added Kwek-Perroy, “As one of the world’s largest insurer, we have a responsibility to our environment and to our customers to engage people in meaningful conversations about sustainable investing. We believe that when we encourage investments into solutions that solve the world’s problems in a sustainable way, the rewards are huge and multifold in the long-term for the investor. AXA is proud to be taking this important step to enhance our distributors’ knowledge on sustainable investing, and excited to know everyone can be rewarded with enhanced benefits in the long run.”
Mr Paul Ho, chief officer at iCompareLoan, said: “Sustainable investing is about investing in progress, and recognising that companies solving the world’s biggest challenges can be best positioned to grow. It is about pioneering better ways of doing business, and creating the momentum to encourage more and more people to opt in to the future we’re working to create.”
Examples in sustainable investing include individuals who invest – as part of their savings or retirement plans – in mutual funds that specialize in seeking companies with good labor and environmental practices. Credit cooperatives, insurance firms and financial institutions have a specific mission of serving low-and-middle-income families.
If you’re new to sustainable investing, these four tips can help you get started and avoid common mistakes:
- Start with sustainable funds.
- Focus on diversified funds, not riskier concentrated funds.
- Consider a fund’s performance and sustainability.
- Monitor your funds regularly.