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Thailand pension fund GPF aims to become a leader in ESG

The GPF adopts environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing though its internal team as well  as external managers
By Goh Thean Eu   
May 10, 2021

Thailand’s Government Pension Fund (GPF), with assets of around US$32 billion, is aiming to become a leader in sustainable investing in the country and hopes to convince others to also adopt the investment strategy.

Srikanya Yathip, secretary-general of the GPF, says the fund adopts environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing though its internal team as well as external managers.

“Over the long term, our goal is to be a leader in ESG investing. We want to introduce initiatives so that more investors in Thailand can adopt this investment strategy,” she said at a recent webinar organised by Asia Asset Management.

According to Srikanya, “constant engagement with investee companies” is key.

“We believe in engaging with investee companies to see how’s their progress in implementing ESG-related initiatives. Even when some of these companies have a negative ESG score, we will also engage with them to find out what was the cause of it, and their plans to improve their ESG score,” she said.

But she said it’s “challenging” to cover all ESG-related topics at one go. “Instead of focusing on everything, we will focus on a few issues at a time”.

Last year, she said the GPF was mainly focused on helping companies to improve governance, and this year, it’s focusing on human rights.

“Next year, we may focus on climate change,” she said.

The lead sponsor of the April 27 webinar was FSSA Investment Managers and the co-sponsor was BNP Paribas Asset Management. Mercer was the knowledge partner for the event.