We commission research on sustainability issues, looking in detail at a specific topic from different viewpoints.
This research will help investors, individuals, companies, policy makers and regulators better understand how their decisions can contribute to better outcomes for the environment and society.
The institute aims to provide research on topics that can advance sustainable investing. This will include examining market trends and practices that the investment industry must address if it is to make an active and positive contribution. These topics may include behavioural, societal, cultural, macro and systemic changes, impacts of regulation and how such trends impact the performance of companies, sectors, and economies, and influence the allocation of capital by investors.
Mark Steinberg, CEO First Sentier Investors
Who we are
The Institute is jointly supported by First Sentier Investors (FSI) and Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation, a consolidated subsidiary of MUFG. Representatives of both organisations will provide input to the activities of the Institute.
An Academic Advisory Board will advise the Institute on sustainability and sustainable investment research initiatives. The Academic Advisory Board will comprise prominent leaders from academia, industry and non-governmental organisations in the fields of Responsible Investment, climate science and related ESG endeavours. The Board will provide independent oversight to ensure that research output meets the highest standards of academic rigour.
Academic Advisory Board
Professor of Finance at the London Business School. Academic Director, Centre for Corporate Governance
Alex Edmans is Professor of Finance at London Business School and Academic Director of the Centre for Corporate Governance
Alex’s research interests are in corporate finance, responsible business and behavioural finance. He is Managing Editor of the Review of Finance, the leading academic finance journal in Europe. His research has been covered by the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, The Economist, and The Times, and he has been interviewed by Bloomberg, BBC, CNBC, CNN, ESPN, Fox, ITV, NPR, Reuters, Sky News, and Sky Sports. Alex has spoken at the World Economic Forum in Davos, testified in the UK Parliament, presented to the World Bank Board of Directors as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series, and given the TED talk What to Trust in a Post-Truth World and the TEDx talk The Social Responsibility of Business with a combined 2.3 million views
Alex serves on the Steering Group of The Purposeful Company, a UK consortium of leaders in responsible business and on Royal London Asset Management’s Responsible Investment Advisory Committee. The UK government appointed him (jointly with PwC) to conduct a study on the effect of share buybacks on executive pay and investment. Alex also serves as Mercers’ School Memorial Professor of Business at Gresham College, giving a four-year programme of lectures to the public. His 2020/21 lecture series is on The Psychology of Finance and his prior series were on Business Skills for the 21st Century and How Business Can Better Serve Society. His book, Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit, was named to the Financial Times Business Books of the Year for 2020.
Professor, Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University
Professor Norichika Kanie is a representative of xSDG Laboratory, Keio Research Institute at SFC, and an Adjunct Professor at United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNI-IAS).
Before joining Keio, he worked at the Graduate School of Decision Science And Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and Department of Policy Studies, the University of Kitakyushu. From August 2009 to July 2010, he had been Marie Curie Incoming International Fellow of the European Commission and a visiting professor at Sciences Po, Paris.
He serves various committees and steering groups, including: co-chair of Future Earth SDG Knowledge-Action Network (KAN); a scientific steering group member of the Earth System Governance project; a commissioner of the Earth Commission; a member of the SDGs Promotion Roundtable Meeting, established by the Japanese government under the SDGs Promotion Headquarters; a member of the Expert Study Group for the Promotion of SDGs by Local Governments for Japanese Cabinet Office.
His research focuses on International Relations, Sustainability, and Earth System Governance. During FY2013 to FY2015, he was a project leader of the “Project on Sustainability Transformation beyond 2015(POST2015)”, with support from the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund, Ministry of the Environment, Japan.
He has participated in the formulation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the common goals adopted by the United Nations, from the conception stage. He is a leading authority on the SDGs, and is striving to balance research and practice.
He has been appointed by the UN Secretary-General as a member of fifteen independent scientists to prepare the 2023 Global Sustainable Development Report.
His recent publications are 「SDGs(Sustainable Development Goals)｣(Chukoshinsho, 2020, in Japanese), and “Governing through Goals: Sustainable Development Goals as Governance Innovation” (MIT Press, 2017, co-edited with Frank Biermann).
He received his Ph.D. in Media and Governance from the Keio University.
Executive Director, Sustainable Economy, University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
Dr Jake Reynolds is Executive Director, Sustainable Economy, at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership where he is responsible for CISL’s research, including the pioneering Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme. He acts as a senior advisor to CISL’s Centre for Sustainable Finance which develops practical thought leadership through long-running collaborations with the investment, banking and insurance industries. As architect of CISL’s 10-year vision and plan, Rewiring the Economy, his team offers robust analysis, tools and evidence for leaders seeking action on sustainability.
Previously Jake was Head of Wellbeing at the UK Government’s Sustainable Development Commission, leading policy on future education, health and transport. He was nominated for Civil Service Awards for outstanding contributions to policy development in 2009 and 2010, and earlier worked with the United Nations and British Government on capacity building in India, Kenya, Lebanon, Bahamas and Guyana, following two years at Uganda’s leading environment institute. Jake originally trained as an engineer, including research at the University of Oxford and roles in the tech sector.
Jake chairs the performance board of Digital with Purpose, a unique initiative from the technology industry, and sits on the impact advisory board of Union Banque Privaire (UBP). He is a member of UN Environment’s GEO for Business advisory board and is a board member of the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute.
Head of First Sentier MUFG Sustainable Investment Institute
Velina Karadzhova joined First Sentier Investors in September 2021 to lead the First Sentier MUFG Sustainable Investment Institute and deliver its sustainable investment research programme. The research looks at how emerging sustainability and market trends and practices could affect the performance of investments and economies, and how these developments influence capital allocation by investors.
Velina was previously an ESG analyst and sector lead for utilities at MSCI. In this role, she developed methodology enhancements and new products in areas such as ESG ratings, screening, impact, regulatory reporting, and data. She was also responsible for sector and company research, and ESG ratings for the utilities sector.
Prior to that, Velina was a credit rating analyst for EMEA utilities at Moody’s. She was also formerly a senior associate in audit at PwC.
Velina gained a BA (Hons) with first class honours in International Finance and Trade at the University of Portsmouth and an MSc in Accounting and Finance at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is a qualified accountant and has been registered with the ICAEW since 2013.
Managing Executive Officer General Manager of Asset Management & Investor Services Planning Division, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation
Takafumi Ihara, was appointed as General Manager of Asset Management & Investor Services Planning Division in April 2020 and as Managing Executive Officer in April 2021. He is responsible for leading Asset Management & Investor Services Businesses in both MUTB and MUFG.
He began his career in security operations, and he had a wide range of experience within fixed income trading, international bond sales, risk management and corporate planning. In addition to his most recent role as General Manager of London Branch, he has been Executive Chairman of Mitsubishi UFJ Fund Services Holding Limited (MFS) since October 2013.
He has a degree in Bachelor of Commerce, Waseda University, Japan
Managing Director and Head of Distribution, Asia
Lauren Prendiville is Managing Director and Head of Distribution, Asia for First Sentier Investors.
In her role, Lauren is responsible for managing the business in Asia, overseeing the business development and the day-to-day functional operations in the region. Lauren is a member of the Enterprise Leadership team and a director on a number of company subsidiary boards.
Lauren has over 20 years of asset management experience. Prior to joining FSI, Lauren was the Executive Director, Institutional Business Development with Goldman Sachs Asset Management based in London and Singapore.
Previously, Lauren worked for Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Investec Asset Management working across multiple client segments including pension funds, central banks, sovereign wealth funds, endowments and private clients. Lauren began her career in South Africa, after spending 10 years in London she transferred to Singapore in 2009.
Lauren holds an Investment Management Certificate and a Certificate in Corporate Governance from INSEAD.
Senior Deputy General Manager & Fellow, Asset Management Division, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation
Masa is responsible for leading and engaging responsible investment from an investment management perspective, and also developing and maintaining relationships with Japanese sovereign wealth fund clients. He is currently involved in the collaborative engagement on global initiatives including Climate Action 100+ and the 30% Club. Since he joined the Trust Bank in 1994, his career has focused on asset management and corporate planning.
In asset management, he has many years of experience as an analyst for Japanese and European equities and as product manager for pension clients, including international experience working in the UK. For the corporate planning, he has held various roles during his 6 years’ experience including creating strategic plans, satisfying financial regulations, and managing M&A projects.
Masa has a degree in Bachelor of Law, Waseda University, Japan
Global Head of Investment Management, First Sentier Investors
David Allen was appointed to the role of Global Head of Investment Management in November 2021.
David has over 20 years’ global asset management experience, where he specialised in building investment businesses and leading investment teams.
Prior to First Sentier Investors, David spent five years at AMP Capital as Global CIO, Equities and previously held senior investment leadership roles at Sarasin & Partners, Fidelity International, and Pioneer Investments. In these roles he has led teams across a wide range of capabilities, including equities, fixed income, multi-asset, ESG, dealing, risk management and operations.
David holds a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College, London, and spent the early part of his career in the oil and gas industry.
Head of Responsible Investment, Asset Management Business Division, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation
Masahiro Kato has been with the company since April 1990 and has over 25 years of experience in the asset management business.
He started his career as Japanese equity financial analyst, after which he was assigned as Asian equity portfolio manager and US equity financial analyst for Japanese institutional investors in Tokyo and New York. His career also includes new product development of Responsible Investment funds for Japanese investors, Responsible Investment implementation and enhancement, proxy voting, engagement and ESG (Environmental, social and governance) research in Tokyo and London.
Since June 2019 he has been with Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation as Head of Responsible Investment. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Keio University and is a Chartered Member of the Security Analysts Association of Japan (CMA).
Global Head of Responsible Investment, First Sentier Investors
Will Oulton is the Global Head, Responsible Investment at First Sentier Investors (FSI) based in the UK and is responsible for defining and delivering FSI’s responsible investment and stewardship strategy globally. In this role he is tasked with advancing FSI’s understanding of how ESG Factors impact long term investment value. He is also responsible for developing FSI’s thought leadership programs and managing the RI Governance structure for the business.
Previous to this he was the Head of Responsible Investment for Mercer Investments across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, advising institutional asset owners on environmental, social and corporate governance matters. He has nearly 20 years of experience working in sustainable and responsible investment. Before joining Mercer, Will was the Director of Responsible Investment at FTSE Group, where he led the development of FTSE’s global sustainability services.
In December 2015 he was appointed Chairman of the European Sustainable Investment Forum (Eurosif). He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an Honorary Associate Professor at Nottingham University Business School’s International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, Expert Panel Member of the Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability program and sits on a number of investment industry advisory boards and committees. More recently, he became a Trustee Director on the board of the UK’s Marine Conservation Society.