Promotion of ESG at lowest levels since start of 2020, data by Fundamental Monitor finds
The promotion of ESG in the APAC region has dropped significantly during Q1 2023 to only 1% of total asset management advertising, data by Fundamental Monitor showed.
In Q4, this figure still stood at 12%. The massive drop seen in Q1 is the lowest percentage we’ve seen since records began in 2020. During the first three quarters of 2020, the share of ESG promotion as a total of all asset management advertising in APAC lingered in the low single digits, but since Q4 2020 it has always been above 5%, until now.
ESG strategies have been performing poorly lately. According to IPE, the year 2022 has been less of a success for global ESG equity strategies as for the first half of the year, 78% underperformed their benchmark, with the median underperforming by 2.5 percentage points. These latest figures from Fundamental Monitor reflect asset managers’ response to ESG’s performance woes as they move away from advertising their ESG capabilities and focus their advertising on the promotion of other asset classes and strategies instead.It will be interesting to see whether the amount of ESG advertising will return to the levels seen previously.
There were only 12 asset managers who were actively promoting ESG during Q1 and they dedicated 8% of all their advertising to responsible investing. These figures are down from Q4 as well, when 25 active ESG advertisers dedicated 29% of their advertising activity to ESG. Q1 only had two asset managers solely focused on ESG advertising: Australian Ethical and Janus Henderson.
All markets in APAC monitored by Fundamental Monitor saw some ESG advertising during Q1. With 6 advertisers, Singapore was the most crowded market, followed by Australia (5) and Taiwan (4).
ESG advertisers moved more towards thought leadership campaigns during the first three months of 2023, with 67% of all ESG campaigns focusing on insights, up from 45% in Q4. ESG fund promotion made up 32% of all ESG campaigns, down slightly from 36% in Q4, while ESG brand campaigns accounted for only 1%, down from 18% a quarter earlier.
Below are some examples of the ESG campaigns that were in market in the APAC region during Q1 2023:
Nomura Asset Management
China Asset Management