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Sustainable (and profitable) investing

April 24, 2022 Ignacio "Toting" Bunye 390 views

Ignacio BunyeI recently received this news which should be most welcomed by investors seeking to improve their yields over the long term and at the same time participate meaningfully in achieving sustainable development goals.

BPI Asset Management and Trust Corporation (BPI AMTC), the wealth management arm of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), has launched the BPI Invest Sustainable Fund Suite, a first in the country.

Aligned with its parent bank BPI as a champion of sustainability, BPI AMTC has developed three (3) new Unit Investment Trust Funds (UITFs) that seek to address issues such as climate change, renewable energy, resource efficiency, inequality, and other areas identified in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals — all while seeking to deliver long-term financial returns.

“BPI AMTC recognizes that investors have now matured in their preferences, searching for investments that are not only profitable but also meaningful, not only rewarding but also impactful. Through our new funds, everyone can proactively shape the growth of responsible industries and businesses. With a minimum of USD 1,000, investors are able to access and invest in companies that integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics and considerations in their business practices, products, services, and investment decisions, or are creating sustainability projects with positive and measurable social and environmental impact,” said Sheila Marie Tan, BPI AMTC President and CEO.

Consistent with BPI AMTC’s thrust towards diversification, the BPI Invest Sustainable Fund Suite, which comprises the BPI Invest Sustainable Global Bond Fund-of-Funds, BPI Invest Sustainable Global Balanced Fund-of-Funds, and BPI Invest Sustainable Global Equity Fund-of-Funds, is made available across a range of asset classes designed to address investors’ unique needs and risk profiles.

Following a fund-of-funds structure, each fund in the BPI Invest Sustainable Fund Suite will be invested in a portfolio of carefully selected global target funds that invest in the best-in-class companies that adhere to the highest ESG standards or are directly tied to sustainability projects and other enabling initiatives.

For this, BPI AMTC is collaborating with some of the biggest names in the global asset management industry and sustainable investing such as Janus Henderson Investors, Schroder Investment Management, Wellington Management, JP Morgan Asset Management, and PIMCO to name a few.

According to reports from Bloomberg, global ESG assets may grow to $41 trillion by the end of 2022 and may hit the $53 trillion mark by 2025, one-third of the projected total global assets under management. Accelerated growth is expected in the ESG markets, especially with increasing customer demand, government commitments, and continuous development across asset classes and themes.

“Organizations that integrate sustainability in their businesses are likely to experience more consistent growth and returns over the long term. In these times of unpredictable climate change and the ongoing global pandemic, investors are becoming more concerned and are expressing very keen interest to invest preferably in companies that demonstrate they are providing goods and services in a responsible and sustainable manner.” said Smith Chua, Chief Investment Officer of BPI AMTC.

Married for 54 years and counting

During one Holy Week visita iglesia, our very first stop was the St . Therese Church, (then a small Philippine Air Force chapel) where we said our vows 54 years ago. My wife Mira and I got married in 1968. I was 23 years old and a 3rd year law student. Mira was 24 and had already taken the medical board exams and was just waiting for the results.

We had two dates to choose from – her birthday March 25 or my birthday April 19. We finally decided on April 19. Little did I anticipate that April 18 would be the last day of final examinations for third year at the Ateneo law school. So you could just imagine what I went through preparing for the wedding and reviewing for the exams at the same time. The services of events managers did not become available until much, much later.

Our courtship was not without drama similar to what we view in the soap operas. Mira and I broke up briefly and we were both heart-broken. Our wedding almost fell through. But we surmounted our problem and here we are now, still happily married.

On our honeymoon, we flew to Baguio on the invitation of our wedding sponsors -Tio Domeng and Tia Patring Sioson – who offered to host us at the Baguio Country Club. However, at that time, visibility at the Loakan Airport was very poor and we landed instead at Bauang, La Union. From Bauang, we took a taxicab going up to Baguio via Naguilian Road (President Elpidio Quirino Highway). Unfortunately, we discovered later that the road had been blocked by a landslide. It took the DPWH crew three hours to clear the landslide. All the while, the taxi meter was ticking. We finally reached the Baguio Country Club almost 10 pm.

The following day, while we were strolling at the Baguio Session road we were shocked to read the headline of one newspaper: Mayon erupts! The Mayon Lodge, at that time still open for visitors, was our original choice as honeymoon destination.