Podcast: ESG impacts Q&A

My-Linh joins us on the BlueBay Insights podcast to discuss climate change, rising client interest and industry action points for smart and sustainable ESG investing.

“I hope this year brings innovation in terms of analytics and the right tools to be able to engage more easily and make more informed investment decisions. We’re excited to step up to the challenge and believe that the managers that will be around tomorrow are those that take action on climate change today.”

My-Linh Ngo


The views expressed in this piece are not intended to be a source of advice or credit analysis and the information does not constitute investment advice.


Are you seeing elevated interest from BlueBay investors regarding climate change and ESG as a whole?

Definitely – there’s always been interest but things have reached a tipping point in the last 6-9 months. This isn’t necessarily surprising as 2019 was a very visible year for some of the physical impacts of climate change. There was also a clear direction of travel from politicians regarding regulation around climate change. More broadly, plastics (and their impact on biodiversity) became a headline topic for the public, leading people to take action. In tandem, social unrest and rising populism stemming from concerns about human rights have also become topical issues influencing our investors.


What can the asset management industry do to make a positive impact over the next decade?

The industry needs to be honest…recognise the problem and not bury its head in the sand. We need to take action now and at unprecedented levels.

It’s always hard to be the first one to act, but we all need to be brave. As a society, we need to consider what we value and look beyond what we’ll have to retire with and consider what kind of world we want to retire into.

Then we need to be smart. Regarding climate change, we tend to focus on the downside risks and overlook the opportunities. With the changes in capital flows, some companies will prosper and some will struggle – we need to know where the opportunities lie and be ahead of the curve to capture them.

Finally, we need to be inclusive. New ways of working within the investment industry will required different participants to work together to share the risk burden and to ignite innovation.


Are you seeing the industry make cultural changes to allow ESG-led ideas to overwrite the old ways of doing things?

It’s natural to want to carry on the way it’s always been. Increased recognition of environmental factors within the industry is great, but change has been slow so far. I hope that going into this year, and indeed the new decade, we’ll see an acceleration of this shift in thinking.

Society and other stakeholders are certainly looking for the industry to take a more active role.

Scrutiny is increasing and expectation is heightening – there’s no longer anywhere to hide. This provides a great opportunity for the industry to demonstrate its value to society.


ESG has always been a part of the BlueBay investment approach, but what are we doing to make it even more of a priority?

We consider every material risk when making an investment, including ESG factors. What’s changed more recently is how we’ve formalised the ESG process and made it more strategic. We’ve focused our efforts around three categories:

  1. Education – raise awareness internally and improve understanding and knowledge.
  2. Evaluation – consider the risks and opportunities in our investment decisions systematically.
  3. Engagement – to ensure we use the insights we gain to take action, both with issuers and wider stakeholders.


Which ESG investing focus areas do you see gaining prominence over the next 12-months?

We talk about having a decade to act but I see 2020 as the year which will set the tone in terms of the scale of ambition. This is why we’re facing so much scrutiny and expectation this year, in my view.

The theme of climate change will continue and will, in our view, become more political as more regulation comes through.

Beyond the environmental damage associated with climate change, we mustn’t neglect the social dimension, which requires a move to low carbon. With it, fundamental shifts in economic activities could cause people to be left behind. We need to consider human rights alongside the environment.

More broadly on the social side, we’re looking to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These present real opportunities for governments to act and for the private sector and financial institutions to play their role.

For me, I hope this year brings innovation in terms of analytics and the right tools to be able to engage more easily and make more informed investment decisions. We’re excited to step up to the challenge and believe that the managers that will be around tomorrow are those that take action on climate change today.

Sign up for insights by email

Subscribe now to receive the latest investment and economic insights from our experts, sent straight to your inbox.

This document may be produced and issued by the following entities: in the European Economic Area (EEA), by BlueBay Funds Management Company S.A. (the ManCo), which is regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF). In Germany and Italy, the ManCo is operating under a branch passport pursuant to the Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities Directive (2009/65/EC) and the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (2011/61/EU). In the United Kingdom (UK) by BlueBay Asset Management LLP (BBAM LLP), which is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is a member of the National Futures Association (NFA) as authorised by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). In United States, by BlueBay Asset Management USA LLC which is registered with the SEC and the NFA. In Switzerland, by BlueBay Asset Management AG where the Representative and Paying Agent is BNP Paribas Securities Services, Paris, succursale de Zurich, Selnaustrasse 16, 8002 Zurich, Switzerland. The place of performance is at the registered office of the Representative. The courts of the registered office of the Swiss representative shall have jurisdiction pertaining to claims in connection with the distribution of shares in Switzerland. The Prospectus, the Key Investor Information Documents (KIIDs), where applicable, the Articles of Incorporation and any other applicable documents required, such as the Annual or Semi-Annual Reports, may be obtained free of charge from the Representative in Switzerland. In Japan, by BlueBay Asset Management International Limited which is registered with the Kanto Local Finance Bureau of Ministry of Finance, Japan. In Australia, BlueBay is exempt from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services license under the Corporations Act in respect of financial services as it is regulated by the FCA under the laws of the UK which differ from Australian laws. In Canada, BBAM LLP is not registered under securities laws and is relying on the international dealer exemption under applicable provincial securities legislation, which permits BBAM LLP to carry out certain specified dealer activities for those Canadian residents that qualify as "a Canadian permitted client”, as such term is defined under applicable securities legislation. The BlueBay group entities noted above are collectively referred to as “BlueBay” within this document. The registrations and memberships noted should not be interpreted as an endorsement or approval of BlueBay by the respective licensing or registering authorities. Unless otherwise stated, all data has been sourced by BlueBay. To the best of BlueBay’s knowledge and belief this document is true and accurate at the date hereof. BlueBay makes no express or implied warranties or representations with respect to the information contained in this document and hereby expressly disclaim all warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for a particular purpose. Opinions and estimates constitute our judgment and are subject to change without notice. BlueBay does not provide investment or other advice and nothing in this document constitutes any advice, nor should be interpreted as such. This document does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase any security or investment product in any jurisdiction and is for information purposes only. This document is intended only for “professional clients” and “eligible counterparties” (as defined by the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (“MiFID”) ) or in the US by “accredited investors” (as defined in the Securities Act of 1933) or “qualified purchasers” (as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940) as applicable and should not be relied upon by any other category of customer. No part of this document may be reproduced, redistributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other person or published, in whole or in part, for any purpose in any manner without the prior written permission of BlueBay. Copyright 2021 © BlueBay, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RBC and BBAM LLP may be considered to be related and/or connected to RBC and its other affiliates. ® Registered trademark of RBC. RBC GAM is a trademark of RBC. BlueBay Funds Management Company S.A., registered office 4, Boulevard Royal L-2449 Luxembourg, company registered in Luxembourg number B88445. BlueBay Asset Management LLP, registered office 77 Grosvenor Street, London W1K 3JR, partnership registered in England and Wales number OC370085. The term partner refers to a member of the LLP or a BlueBay employee with equivalent standing. Details of members of the BlueBay Group and further important terms which this message is subject to can be obtained at www.bluebay.com. All rights reserved.

Sign up for insights by email

Subscribe now to receive the latest investment and economic insights from our experts, sent straight to your inbox.