Asia continues to lag other regions for integrating ESG principles with investing; better data and stronger regulatory requirements will help institutional investors, market observers say.
Penn was sidelined in September last year after the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) investigated AXAÆs decision to recalculate benefits paid to staff under its superannuation plan.
At the time AXA moved to quell negative media reports by placing him in a strategic development role. For the last 10 months his duties as the head of the Australasian business have been handled by the insurerÆs group chief executive Les Owen.
Owen was short on detail when he reinstated Penn yesterday. ôAndy is one of our most experienced executives and I am delighted that he is returning to his role,ö he says.
Penn has been with AXA in Australia since 1992. He was appointed chief financial officer in July 2002 and then head of Australasia in February 2004.
AXA came under investigation by APRA in the middle of last year. This occurred when some staff members complained about the prudential and disclosure aspects of a decision in 2002 to change the method of calculating the interest rate on termination benefits left in the AXA super fund from a æsmoothedÆ rate to an actual earnings rate.
The insurer eventually resolved the issue by adjusting upwards the superannuation benefits of more than 2,000 current and former staff members.
The appetite of institutional investors for green, social, and sustainable bonds that bring clear environmental and socio-economic benefits shows no sign of waning.
The German insurer has plans for the property sector in Australia and China too.
Global investors are advised to look selectively at Japanese equities as the country recovers from lockdown and continues to improve corporate governance.
Weekly investor roundup: Sun Life weighs second ESG fund in HK; Korea's NPS reduces domestic equity allocation
Sun Life considers launching second ESG fund in Hong Kong as it banks on the growing theme; NPS lowers exposure to large-cap and other domestic shares; Temasek's Vertex Technology Acquisition Corporation becomes first special purpose acquisition company on the Singapore Exchange; and more