Sustainable Investment and Active Ownership Approach

UOBAM’S Sustainable Investing Vision and Goals

At UOB Asset Management (UOBAM), our vision is to be a leading fund manager in sustainability in Asia that creates long-term value and positive impact for our stakeholders whilst enabling sustainable investments accessible for all.

As an active asset manager, UOBAM believes that it has a fiduciary duty to allocate capital into more sustainable investments and be active owners of our investments and as a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), we are committed to adopting and implementing the principles and reporting on our progress towards their implementation. To enable this outcome, UOBAM has made sustainability a key strategic pillar of the firm which helps to drive our commitment and purpose towards creating value for our investors and communities as well as helping them achieve their sustainable investment goals and aspirations.

UOBAM’s Sustainable Investment Framework

In our commitment towards advancing and supporting the principles of PRI, we have put in place our sustainable investing policy as part of our sustainable investment framework, as set out in the table below.


ESG issues will be incorporated into existing investment practices using a combination of two approaches: integration and screening (when applicable in investment mandate).
Sustainable Investing Strategies Integration Screening
UOBAM's Sustainable Investing Policy
Description Explicitly and systematically including ESG issues in investment analysis and decisions, to better manage risks and improve returns of investments. Application of filters to lists of potential investments to rule companies in or out of contention for investment, based on best-in-class and negative screening approaches.


We believe that Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues are financially material to a company’s performance and will translate to material financial impact on the investments that we make. As part of our fiduciary duty to our investors, we have put in place our sustainable investing framework and process which focuses on deep fundamental research, augmented by the use of technology and leveraging on our local expertise.

Our proprietary sustainable investment framework is a common framework that is utilised across the firm, and is implemented through the integration of ESG evaluation within our investment process. The process of ESG evaluation involves the assessment of material ESG factors of companies which is determined by UOBAM’s proprietary materiality map.

UOBAM’s proprietary materiality map is developed by referencing the Sustainability Accounting and Standards Board (SASB) materiality map. UOBAM’s proprietary materiality map also assigns specific E, S and G pillar weights to companies across 11 sectors that are classified using Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). Below is an overview of how ESG is incorporated into our investment process.



The execution of ESG evaluation and integration into our investment process is supported by dedicated resources in our regional investment teams and covering all major asset classes that we invest in. Overall, we believe that ESG integration into our investment process contributes to performance and risk mitigation by enabling us to identify high-quality companies which are resilient, well-managed, able to grow sustainably and are likely to maintain their competitiveness in the long term.



To complement ESG incorporation into our investment process, we also have in place an Active Ownership Policy which has a coverage that aligns to the Sustainable Investment Policy. The Active Ownership Policy serves to facilitate dialogue, engagement, and proxy voting. We will leverage our regional footprint and the local expertise of our regional investment teams to execute meaningful dialogues and engagement which will drive strategic investment decisions for the sustainable investments we make.

To quantify and enable our investors to better understand how their investments are helping to address critical global issues such as climate change and human capital management, we have developed internal capabilities to carry out portfolio impact analysis to highlight how we reduce our environmental footprint, and to make a more tangible contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UOBAM will also integrate impact measurement aligned with these global trends as part of portfolio analysis.

We also continuously monitor on a global and regional basis, the changing regulatory landscape that impacts sustainable investing. Whenever possible, we will participate in responding to regulatory consultations to provide our inputs and help guide and develop ESG policies and guidelines that support the advancement of the six Principles of the PRI. Our responses to such regulatory consultations will be aligned to our sustainable investing policy and will look to support the six Principles of the PRI. To ensure that this alignment is achieved, we have in place our sustainability governance structure that will provide oversight and accountability for our responses.

UOBAM Active Ownership Approach


Sustainability is a key pillar in UOB Asset Management’s (UOBAM) corporate strategy, and we view active ownership is a crucial aspect of our sustainability culture, as it can positively influence companies to engage in sustainable business practices, creating not only long-term value for these companies but also social and environmental benefits for the world.

We have a strong regard for fostering good stewardship and as an asset manager based in Malaysia, we adhere to the local regulatory requirements (Sustainable and Responsible Investment Fund Guidelines). UOBAM is also a signatory of the UN supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and we are committed to follow their 6 Principles.

Active ownership at UOBAM consists of company engagement. These activities form a key component of our responsible investment approach and fulfils UOBAM’s fiduciary duty as an investment manager to act in the best long-term interests of our clients.



UOBAM believes in the value of engagement and aim to enhance risk-adjusted returns of our investments and shareholders’ value in the long run. We identify a range of thematic and material ESG issues that can affect our investee companies in the long run and engage them to ensure that they are well prepared to mitigate these issues.

Throughout the engagement process, we gain valuable insights into our investee companies’ propensity deal with ESG issues and whether they will take the appropriate measures to manage these issues. Engagement acts as an important information source to aid our investment decision.

By engaging with companies, we can also encourage improvement in their ESG disclosure, identify the need to advocate positive change, communicate our concerns and improve its practices on ESG issues, where necessary.

We prioritise our engagement based on geography of companies and size of holdings, severity of identified material ESG issue, potential to generate long-term value following a successful engagement, and specific client request(s).

UOBAM engages with companies through a variety of channels and also considers collaborative engagement with other stakeholders in the event we believe that the efficacy and chance of success of the engagement can be enhanced.

Escalation Strategy

Over the course of the engagement process, UOBAM would pursue a number of courses of action should the company constantly fails to meet the standards expected.

UOBAM will vote against management at the annual company meetings if we are not satisfied with managements’ response to the ESG issues raised and ability to mitigate the identified risks. UOBAM may also consider voting for shareholder resolutions initiated in response to the ESG issues.

Ultimately, if the company still continuously fails to meet the standards expected after the engagement timeline, UOBAM will decide to reduce our exposure to investment holdings size or divest our investment in the company.

Investing for profit and purpose

We believe that responsible investment practices can have significant contribution to the development of a more sustainable financial system that benefits the wider community.

PRI Reporting

UOBAM also became an official signatory of the UN supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in early 2020, a testament to UOB’s commitment to responsible investing and to developing sustainable investment solutions for customers.

The UN-supported PRI is an international network of investors working together to put the six Principles for Responsible Investment into practice.

  1. Incorporate ESG issues into its investment analysis and decision-making processes;
  2. Be active owners and incorporate ESG considerations into its ownership policies and practices;
  3. Seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which it invests;
  4. Promote the acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry;
  5. Work to enhance its effectiveness in implementing the Principles; and
  6. Report on the activities and progress of its investment firms towards implementing the Principles.

Responsible investment practices are part of our fiduciary duty to our clients and we believe that the integration of ESG considerations into our investment processes is important not only from a risk management perspective but also key to ensuring long-term returns.

UOBAM’s Sustainable Investing Governance Structure


Our sustainability governance structure provides oversight and accountability on the implementation of our responsible investment policy. Our UOBAM Board of directors through the Management Committee (MC), reviews long-term business and organisational goals and provides the strategic direction for UOBAM’s sustainable investments and sustainability practices. The MC manages the implementation of strategic direction that is handed down by UOBAM’s Board of Directors and will be supported by our Regional Sustainability Group (RSG), Local Sustainability Group (LSG), and dedicated Sustainability Offices (SO).

The RSG reports directly to the MC on sustainable investing matters and is made up of the Sustainability Chairs and Champions from each regional office. The RSG coordinates with MC to guide the regional implementation of our sustainable investment mandates as well as sustainability initiatives.

The LSG at each office is supported by dedicated Country SO to monitor and report on the progress of our sustainability activities and mandates. The Country Sustainability Champions take the lead in our corporate sustainability activities, which include ESG product and solution launches, thought leadership and events, sustainability staff training, and corporate sustainability stewardship programmes, and Dedicated ESG Investment Specialists leading their respective offices in implementing our sustainable investing framework.

UOBAM’s dedicated regional SO incorporated into the overall investment organization structure supports our sustainability governance structure with the integration of our ESG investment methodology and implementation of strategic sustainability initiatives. The SOs, each comprising the country’s ESG Champion, a dedicated ESG Investment Specialist and Investment Team. These teams possess local expertise and on-ground engagement through the utilization of dedicated ESG resources to execute engagement for companies in the portfolio in the event of a controversy or to determine specific ESG information. Dedicated ESG resources also provide manual ESG scoring coverage on companies that are not covered by major third-party ESG data providers.

The Singapore Sustainability Office and Centre of Excellence (SOCE) works in close collaboration with all UOBAM regional SOs in order to ensure that companies managed in the portfolio are well positioned for secular growth and alpha generation. The SOCE utilises UOBAM’s integrated ESG management system to facilitate two-way data transfer and to obtain ESG coverage from regional offices, whilst simultaneously delivering real-time updates on the ESG performance of companies, as well as news alerts, to ensure that controversies detected can be followed up with engagement action. The SOCE also develops the governance controls and systems in place to ensure the implementation of UOBAM’s Sustainable Investment policy and corporate and communications plans.

UOBAM’s Approach to Strategic Partnerships

We take an inside-out approach to sustainable investing and move beyond just focusing on internal processes such as ESG integration into investment processes and sustainable investment governance. We look to take a proactive approach towards driving sustainable investing externally which ties in closely with the principle of “working together in implementing the principles” where our external efforts include establishing strategic investment partnerships with global sustainability leaders such as Robeco and Fukoku Capital Management.

Through such external partnerships that we aim to further enhance our capabilities and develop the accessibility of sustainability investment opportunities in the Asia region for investors. This will be done through sustainability mandates, working in policy consultation, and responsible investment education and thought leadership.