ESG is no passing fad, as more investors are convinced that alpha can be found in ESG and regulators continue to introduce rules to lift ESG standards.
Lu will report to Tom Lynch, head of global markets in Asia and Peter Baker, head of investor services in Asia. He is replacing Michael Chiu, who has been transferred back to Hong Kong as head of operations. Lu has been with State Street in Boston since 1999.
Before Lu was made vice president, he was a senior strategist in the firm's project management team. Lu is a CFA and a MBA graduate of Boston College. He also holds a Masters of Engineering degree from Beijing's Tsinghua University.
State Street has been active in the mainland market for more than 10 years. However, its Beijing representative office has yet to receive approval and the firm has yet to receive banking license to operate in a local capacity.
Lu and his team will chiefly focus on liaising with mainland institutional investors, bringing in potential investment management, custody, administrative, foreign exchange and securities lending business for State StreetÆs fund management, banking and custodian arms in Hong Kong.
KK Tse, executive vice president and head of investment services in Asia-Pacific, says LuÆs solid experience, strategising skills, local knowledge and cultural ability will make him a good fit to lead State StreetÆs development in China.
Previously, State Street established relationships with Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to advise the Chinese banks on their custody operations. State Street was also responsible for introducing exchange-traded funds to mainland China by advising the Shanghai Stock Exchange and top fund houses û China Asset Management and E Fund Management.
Tse notes the China-related custody business has quickly transformed into the third largest market in Asia in the past few years, just after Australia and Japan.
Meanwhile, Lu will also help pursue opportunities in the QDII market and ChinaÆs corporate pension business. State Street is actively opening up new relationships with banks, fund houses and pension funds currently.
Unlike most of its competitors, Tse says State Street has no plans to enter into a joint venture in China at the moment in the areas of fund management or banking. He notes that international banks looking to enter the custodian market will still see some hurdles posted by mainlandÆs approval regulator.
In its second annual sustainable investment report, the sovereign wealth fund says it invested $1.79bn in ESG bonds. Experts say asset owners next need to consolidate their standards.
Senior executives at the Taiwan financial group and Canadian pension fund believe that companies have to make an ESG transition, and may not have a choice in a few years.
Record low borrowing costs in Australia are feeding demand for the country's real estate, with domestic and global investors raising their allocations into the sector.
Experts have a diversified view on the appeal of private assets across the region, but one thing's for certain - inflows are rising, particularly into China and the US.