Stanbic Investment Management Services (SIMS) has advised investors and investment firms to look beyond their investment returns when taking investment decisions. It also admonished investors to keep environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) considerations high on the agenda when making investment decisions.
Speaking at a webinar on the theme ‘Investing Right, Investing for the Future: A Case for Applying ESG Principles Now’, Kwabena Boamah, Chief Investment Officer of SIMS, noted that even though the investment community has kept Economic, Social Governance considerations on the backburner for so long, it is time to give it priority in the investment decision process.
“Over the years, investors have focused on returns and security of investments, however, there is an overarching need to add another cardinal consideration in the investment process and that is how investment companies’ investment activities impact the society, the environment and what corporate governance structures are being practiced”.Kwabena Boamah
Furthermore, the Chief investment Officer suggested that it is about time investors considered the consequence of their actions on the environment.
“It is time investors look beyond their returns and also consider the effect of the business on the environment, how the business addresses social issues, and the application of corporate governance while generating its profits. Even though investors may not see the immediate returns of investing for social good, the medium to long term benefits provide sustainable returns and benefits that go beyond just the investor to the community and the nation.”Kwabena Boamah
Meanwhile, Mr Boamah noted that “When companies are doing their due diligence in making investment decisions, we expect them to go beyond looking at their bottom lines and consider the sustainability issues that the companies they are investing with have in place. That is why our investment guidelines have limitations with regard to the equities they can invest in.”
Moreover, the Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Corporate Trustees of Ghana, Thomas Kwesi Esso, who was also on the panel, reiterated that the due diligence they expect investment companies to do in making investment decisions should go beyond just financial and include ESG consideration. He also noted that this will help protect the environment, the community and the nation as a whole.
The webinar forms part of a series of engagements organized by SIMS that bring together experts from the pensions and investment ecosystem to engage the public on critical issues relative to investment.
SIMS is Ghana’s foremost investment management and advisory firm offering tailor-made fund management services for pension schemes, institutions, corporates, and associations to meet specific investment objectives and return benchmarks.
SIMS’ institutional and individual fund management proposition includes assistance in setting up the fund, investment policy statement design, templates for trust deeds, and fund rules. It also has a fixed income unit trust for relatively conservative investors with medium to long-term investment objectives.
The firm also offers fund management services to high net-worth individuals seeking specific investment goals such as educational funds, retirement funds (individual/private pension planning), trust funds, and endowment funds.