The FINANCIAL -- Swiss Re announced on July 6 that it has already consistently integrated ESG considerations into its investment process since the start of 2017.
The company is convinced that taking ESG criteria into account makes economic sense and reduces downside risks especially for long-term investors. By implementing ESG benchmarks, Swiss Re has taken a step forward from considering ESG as an "add-on" approach to making it an integral part of its investment process, according to Swiss Re.
"Enhancing our investment portfolio by adopting broad-based ESG benchmarks has been the most meaningful and strategic step in our journey to integrate ESG considerations into the investment process", said Guido Fürer, Group Chief Investment Officer at Swiss Re. "These benchmarks represent a suitable tool to achieve the desired investment behavior and set the right measurement both from a performance and ESG perspective."
"We are pleased that Swiss Re has selected the equity MSCI ESG Index family and the fixed income Bloomberg Barclays MSCI Corporate Sustainability Index family as part of their ESG investing needs," said Deborah Yang, Managing Director and EMEA Head of Index Products at MSCI. "MSCI is a leader in providing ESG indexes for institutional investors, helping them with their ESG integration needs. This is an exciting time for ESG investing and MSCI are proud to be part of it."
Although ESG makes economic sense for long-term investors, there are still various challenges to overcome before ESG becomes a standard approach in the investment industry. This topic is covered in-depth in a publication launched by Swiss Re today: Responsible Investments - shaping the future of investing.
In the publication, Swiss Re shares its experience and methodologies applied with the aim to further promote an industry dialogue and the development of a best practice framework on systematic ESG integration.
Swiss Re advocates that the impact could be very powerful if more institutional investors followed the ESG route, given the USD 75 trillion of institutional assets under management worldwide. This would be a big step forward in making the world more resilient.