Responsible investing in private markets
As with all our investments, we have put Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) considerations at the heart of our processes and approach for investing in private markets.
In private equity, for example, we ask all general partners (GPs) to complete our questionnaire, which is based on the four pillars of responsible investing laid out by the United Nations-supported Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI). We have also pushed for ESG to be a standing agenda item on the agenda of advisory boards of GPs so that we can monitor progress.
Most of our target managers now have an ESG policy. We are proud to have been instrumental in encouraging several small/mid-market GPs to adopt such a policy.
Private markets impact investing involves investing in opportunities which have an intentional and measurable positive environmental and social impact. We believe private markets provide a broad range of impact opportunities and that ASI is particularly well placed to provide attractive private markets impact solutions for investors.
Our global ESG resource
We have a market-leading ESG resource in terms of the number of people, and their experience, expertise and talent. Our success lies in our ability to connect across teams, geographies, public and private markets clients. We also play a pivotal role in connecting our investment decision-makers more closely with the aims and objectives of our clients.
What we offer our clients
Aberdeen Standard Investments sees ESG as examining a potential or current investment from a risk and opportunity perspective. We analyze all of an investment’s risks and opportunities before and after investment is made to understand the quality of that investment and to help us know how best to engage a company on its material issues.
We do not examine financial and/or ESG risks in silo, but rather look at these in combination, so that we have the best understanding of where a company is in terms of its quality and potential over the longer term. This process is quite unique to Aberdeen Standard Investments, in that we do not necessarily weigh ESG or financial factors equally.
Our impact investing approach targets strong financial returns alongside positive social and environmental impact. Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework, we developed eight impact pillars to assess, address, monitor and measure the ways in which our investments contribute to positive social and environmental outcomes.
We believe it is important to be as clear and informative on the major ESG issues surrounding both our own business and our investee companies. We produce quarterly updates on ESG themes and trends, as well as our own ESG engagements and activities. We also produce bespoke client reporting for our sustainability-driven solutions, such as our impact investing strategies.
Quarterly Global ESG Investment Report
Our quarterly report, detailing ESG events, thought pieces and our voting and engagement summary.
Integrating ESG in Private Markets
Alan Gauld, investment director of Aberdeen Standard Investments, and Jamie Govan, senior ESG analyst, explain why a commitment to responsible practices is important throughout the investment lifecycle.