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August 4, 2020 23 min
“For us to have a sustainable portfolio, we have to have a sustainable capital market. And for us to have a sustainable capital market, we need to have a sustainable society. And for us to have a sustainable society, we need to have a sustainable environment? It's all connected.”  When he was managing Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), Hiro Mizuno recognized that his role went beyond fiduciary. After all, with $1.6 trillion in assets, the fund wasn’t merely a traditional asset manager – it was a major owner in the global capital markets, and its investment decisions had significant impact. The fund would need to play a greater stewardship role, he believed, and so GPIF increasingly considered environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in its investment decisions. And while he met resistance along the way, today his bold idea has gone more mainstream. “Now people believe that ESG needs to be a professional practice to grow into their daily portfolio management operation,” he tells Mike. “So, I'm really glad to see the progress.”
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