abrdn has announced that it has joined the Emerging Markets Investors Alliance (EMIA), the newest major asset manager to become a part of the not-for-profit organisation that brings ESG policy experts, investors, and emerging market issuers (governments and corporations) together to solve the most pressing global issues by creating sustainable investment solutions.
EMIA works with institutional investors to promote the best practices in governance, environmental stewardship and social responsibility to governments and publicly listed companies.
Engagement around ESG has been a priority for abrdn for years but, particularly in emerging markets, this is an involved and often-difficult process. Working in collaboration with other investors is expected to increase the effectiveness of conversations with governments and large companies and improve the likelihood of positive outcomes.
With over 3,000 participants and the top three member firms managing $2.7 trillion, EMIA is the largest advocacy-focused network of investment professionals.
abrdn believes ESG is not static, but an ever-evolving way of making investment better – the firm believes it’s important to share knowledge and continue to learn, so investors and debt and equity issuers can continue to improve. EMIA offers expert education and enables investors to engage meaningfully at the highest levels of policy and industry discussions, so investments can bring about change and make a difference. It encourages institutional investors to take full responsibility for the environmental and social effects of their investments and advocate for better practices.
EMIA promotes high-level engagement with issuers with the aim of advancing ESG best practices adoption. By joining EMIA, abrdn’s EM Debt and EM Equity teams are demonstrating a commitment to participate in working groups with other investors, ESG policy experts, and issuers to improve the impact of investment in areas such as: Agriculture – deforestation in Brazil, animal welfare, indigenous rights, antibiotics usage Government Debt & Fiscal Governance – transparency in budgets, public procurement, debt, taxes Extractive Industries – transparency of payments and contracts, water risks, community consent Tech, Media, Telecom – data privacy and security, emissions impact, electronic waste Financials – responsible lending, financial inclusion, customer data privacy, human capital development As members of EMIA, abrdn plans to contribute to the strengthening of standards and development of the labelled bonds market (including green, blue, social and sustainability bonds). By offering specific guidance for EM-labelled bonds issuance, EMIA aims to create a labelled bond market that can make a meaningful contribution to improved ESG outcomes.
Viktor Szabo, Investment Director, Emerging Market Debt, abrdn said: “We’re proud to become members of the EM Investors Alliance. This investor-led organization is helping to raise awareness and instill the best Environmental Social Governance practices where they are needed. There’s no doubt that an alliance of investors working together has much more influence than one investor alone.
“EMIA’s work involves engaging with sovereign issuers to improve ESG standards, and engaging with the relevant sectors, such as extractives and telecoms, to improve their ESG and become much more transparent. For example, EMIA is working to try and make public procurement processes in less developed economies much fairer and more open.
“We’re impressed with the work EMIA does to improve education around ESG, providing material, webinars and lectures for both investors and issuers. We’re proud to join with other investors who are committed to making the world a better place.”
Fiona Manning, Senior Investment Director, Emerging Market Equity, said: “We’re excited to begin collaborating with industry peers to drive positive change across the spectrum of capital at a corporate level and to enhance the ESG framework companies are working in at a sovereign level. This builds on the work we do internally with our engagements across asset classes.”
Ashok Parameswaran, President and Founder, Emerging Markets Investors Alliance said: "I am thrilled that abrdn is becoming a member and committing to support EMIA's goal of advancing collective engagement to solve the world's most pressing challenges. abrdn understands that investing can be a powerful way of making a positive impact. Through its membership, abrdn's highly respected emerging market investment teams will help lead the investment industry in tackling complex issues including corruption and climate change. And abrdn's powerful voice, as one of the UK's largest asset managers, will enhance EMIA's ability to impact the issues that matter most to people and our planet."