Japanese Institutional Investors- Serious About ESG? Or Just a PR Line to Increase AUM?

Amid the hoopla about Nissan and other scandals, NOT ONE of the major Japanese asset managers on this list have supported non-profit BDTI in its mission to improve governance in Japan via training and analysis of governance practices, at any time over the past nine years. Some of the foreign asset managers have supported us (thanks!), but none of the domestics. ESG is the fad of the month here in Japan, but mainly as a PR line to use in gathering AUM, it seems to me.

But does anyone seriously think boardroom practices and capital efficiency will magically improve without training and discussion about it?  And I don’t mean 90-minute sessions with the head of IR preaching about the importance of cost of capital and ESG considerations.    As things stand now, 90+ of BDTI’s donations and other forms of support (as a government-certified “public interest” nonprofit) comes from foreign investing institutions.

Note: Above list taken from:  http://www.ijapicap.com/blog/rankings/ 

–  Nicholas Benes
Representative Director, The Board Director Training Institute of Japan

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