The Awards represented a meticulous, methodical process and characterized the diligence of more than 60 jurors coming from Private Banks, Family Offices, Consultants, and EAMs. The 51 judges and gatekeepers occupying 235 seats over three days were involved in 47 sessions delivered by 57 senior fund house representatives and supported by a thorough due diligence questionnaire focused on the five key pillars, 48 KPIs, and 438 attributes, with independent sustainability data supported by BlueOnion. 51 jurors have attended the annual Gatekeepers Forum, where 5 to 6 jurors will meet the CIO or Portfolio Manager face to face to drill down into their investment process and ESG performance.
Provider of the Year – companies are assessed by the breadth of winnings across different investment and operational capabilities rather than simply hindsight returns. Weights are allocated to four award categories: House 40%, Sustainability 30%, Manager of the Year 20%, and Quantitative winnings 10%.
Franklin Templeton Investments (" Franklin Templeton") has been crowned Provider of the Year (Mutual Fund) 2021. The two runners-up for this grand award were Allianz Global Investors Taiwan ("AGI") and FSSA Investment Managers ("FSSA"). Franklin Templeton is applauded for its consistency of styles, risk control, and governance across a well-diversified range of asset classes, bringing investors excellent risk-adjusted returns. ESG is of high emphasis and nicely integrated across the board. The committee also praised Franklin Templeton for their continuous effort in advocating investor education, especially for the younger generation. AGI is commended for its commitment to investors' rights and voluntary disclosure and actively implementing ESG to the teams across the continents. FSSA is praised for having an exemplary stewardship team, putting investors' interests first, and successfully integrating ESG across all groups managing various asset classes.
Cathay Securities Investment Trust ("Cathay Securities") is crowned Provider of the Year (ETF) 2021. Cathay Securities is praised for its top-of-the-line stewardship and ESG implementation, and for committing to an active voice although being a passive investor with an active voice. The teams have demonstrated exemplary disclosure to investors and engagement with investees on key issues, including achieving net-zero, while delivering excellent performance, being innovative, and keeping tracking errors low as expected.
"I am excited to see more asset managers in Taiwan taking a more serious approach to Sustainable Investing, and by adopting a more responsible investing approach, despite business disruptions under an ongoing pandemic. While some managers are still studying whether ESG is financially material, our platform, BlueOnion, tells us that higher returns and higher ESG are getting more correlated and convincing by the day," said investor activist organizer Elsa Pau.
About Benchmark Fund of the Year Awards
The 18th Benchmark Fund of the Year Awards organized by WealthAsia Media ("WAM") has gained a solid industry reputation for running distinguished awards safeguarded by powerful gatekeepers from global institutions. The awards can be interpreted as a buy-side driven and a client-centric initiative. Banks' gatekeepers and service users such as asset owners will dominate the awards' decision-making process. The awards also raise awareness of responsible investing and drive better practices in responsible and sustainable investing.
BlueOnion is Benchmark's research tool that empowers institutional investors, asset owners, and private banking gatekeepers to find, screen, and monitor the sustainable performance of over 290K mutual funds covering 40K+ issuers in 99 countries, with over 300 key indicators spanning 22 sectors and 130 industries. It uses the three-lens approach by peeling back the funds' layers in their investment returns, Sustainability performance, and forward-looking Qualitative capabilities. BlueOnion holds managers accountable for their ESG strategies by analyzing their sectors, industries, and investment/divestments actions to validate that they follow their stated ESG integration philosophies. The data-driven process for outcomes reflects how they have taken materiality issues of specific ESG issues into their investment processes.
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About the Gatekeepers Forum
The virtual event in 2021 involved 47 sessions delivered by 57 senior fund house representatives, with 51 judges and gatekeepers occupying 235 seats over three days. The Gatekeepers' Forum is a sub-set of the judging process, with four to six jurors holding a two-way conversation with the Manager of a contesting strategy. The Forum allows the contestants' CIO or Portfolio Manager to showcase how they are running a profitable system and respond to technical questions raised by the gatekeepers. The Gatekeepers' Forum is a highly curated platform that connects both the buy and sell-side of funds and empowers gatekeepers from Private Banks, Institutions, Foundations, Single and Multi-Family Offices to look under the hood before they invest.
About WealthAsia Group
WealthAsia Group is a profit-for-purpose organization – a purpose-driven organization with a mission to drive best practices in the finance community by emphasizing social responsibility and advocating for investors' protection. Our business model focuses on industry benchmarking, assessment, and ranking to help financial institutions improve.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.