Governance pressure cranking up on Asian PE

by Oliver Jones for Asian Investor

Asian private equity funds are being forced to adopt higher standards of governance because of pressure from European investors, according to an industry association.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies have been driven up the corporate agenda in the West in recent years, but in Asia the concept is still nascent.

Nevertheless, Jessica Robinson, CEO of the Association for Sustainable & Responsible Investment in Asia (ASrIA), said that ESG change was likely to be rapid in Asia in the coming years. The key driver for Asian PE funds to adopt ESG guidelines was to attract investors from Europe, she noted.

“I think that change is going to be very rapid over the next couple of years ”said Robinson. “I think the biggest growth area [for growth in sustainable investing in Asia] is private equity.”

She observed that stock exchanges around the region were spending a lot of time and energy on ESG related issues, citing mandatory ESG disclosure rules announced by Singapore’s stock exchange last year. A greater focus on governance has been highlighted as a key issue for 2015. Read more here.

 

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