Building back societies
At Old Mutual, we have engaged actively to try to support our nation through this crisis. The Old Mutual Limited (OML) Foundation has set aside R50 million for emergency COVID-19 assistance focusing on education, food security and supporting municipal community care health workers. Old Mutual is offering support to SMEs worth more than R40 million and has provided premium-free cover worth R4 billion to essential healthcare workers.
Alongside OML, we share a deep social consciousness and operate with a shared value model in delivering inclusive products and services across our operating footprint in Africa. We know that long-term sustainable growth is not possible unless people save and insure; and this serves as a departure point for the OMIG business, with R1 trillion in funds under management. In this way, we pool customer premiums and direct them through the investment business, where we focus our efforts on pursuing appropriate risk-adjusted returns in a way that builds system resilience in making the world a better place through solid and applied asset management expertise.
It is undeniable that the macroenvironment and, to some extent, political developments both locally and globally are investors’ number one priority, that influence forming this risk-return view directly. Institutional investors are seeking out multi-asset mandates – which is likely to accelerate the pace of consolidation, collaboration and platform development in the asset management industry. Meanwhile, ESG is setting new benchmarks for investment where, in addition to lower fees, investors expect transparency, engagement and the assurance of stable leadership structures, a clear strategy, and for talent and operational capabilities to help steer through the storms ahead.
A committed investment approach at OMIG
At OMIG, we have continued our journey centred on integrating ESG into our investment processes and going to market as an asset management business that actively invests for a future that matters. Over the past decade, we have successfully executed on strategic decisions that drive sustainable outcomes and bolstered a committed team of ESG specialists on the forefront of innovation to bring green economy products to market, leading to investing some R131 billion in the green economy.
Pioneering change and innovation at OMIG
We have pioneered ESG indices (R30 billion assets under management) and recently launched the SA ESG Listed Equity Fund, which targets a 40% reduction in carbon intensity versus the Capped SWIX benchmark of choice as a starting point in the investment process. This fund is comprised of companies with superior and/or improving ESG credentials with attractive prospects and robust risk-return profiles. This fund is comprised of companies with superior and/or improving ESG credentials with attractive prospects and robust risk-return profiles.
The launch of this innovative fund hinges on our deep belief in sustainable companies and their ability to induce positive change; without such a commitment to sustainable investment – it will be more of a challenge for economies and societies rebuilding a better place post-COVID-19. BM