14:30 – 16:00 CET : International Sustainable Investment Fund Conference

October 18, 2021


An important development in sustainable finance in recent years is the proliferation of sustainable investment funds, as a potential mass market financial tool that can make a positive contribution to sustainable development. This session brought together asset owners, asset managers and regulators to discuss the latest development in the global sustainable investment fund market and possible measures to make sustainable funds work better for sustainable development in the post‐pandemic era, in particular in developing countries.

Organised by UNCTAD, the discussions reflected on how sustainable investment funds can contribute to the post‐pandemic recovery including the challenges and opportunities, how regulators and other stakeholders can work together to improve the quality and maximise the development impact of sustainable investment funds and how developing economies can tap into the potential offered by the sustainable fund market. Speakers particularly looked at vital vehicle to channel investment in areas to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), regulatory framework that promotes investment, benchmarking investment, matching policy objectives with investment, investing in developing markets, and incorporating Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) concerns into investment by fund managers and providers.

Session Highlights

Regarding the issue of channelling investment to address SDGs, a Panellist proposed that there governments need to have a thorough policy framework that attracts investment in the SDGs. Developing such a framework should be a collaboration between the public and the private sector. More particularly, there should be a dialogue between the public sector and the private sector where the latter provides input into the development of the policy framework that gears towards the SDGs.

Emphasising on how sustainable investment fund can contribute to the ESG, one panel member indicated that investment funders are already doing a lot through addressing the issue of climate, poverty, employment, health, water among others. However, attracting investors into such venture depends on the policy direction of individual government’s.

Panellist also indicated that fund managers and providers need to adopt data analytics tool that will help them to get more data to rank which area to invest as far as the SDG ecosystem is concerned.

It was also indicated that governments need to provide the needed infrastructure that will attract investors to invest in the SDGs.

The question that ensued was whether there should be a one size fit all guidelines for fund managers and providers as far as investing in SDGs are concerned. It was pointed out that developmental challenges differ across regions and locality hence, it is not recommended for a generalised guideline, however, an institution like UNCTAD can develop a best practice guideline for other jurisdictions most especially developing economies.

Panellist also indicated that there is the need for a multilateral development banks to help manage meaningful allocation of capital to developing markets.

Other suggestions include the need to build the capacity of fund managers and providers on ESG, the need to sit with regulators to work towards very basic principle regulation in order to avoid a more restrictive regulation, better dialogue between providers of capital and managers of capital, asset owners helping companies to move from the traditional way of doing things to a more innovative ways.


  • James Zhan, Director, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD

On the panel were:

  • Dan Draper, CEO, S&P Dow Jones Indices
  • Niall Hannigan, Chief Financial Officer, Masdar
  • Stéphane Lapiquonne, Co-head, BlackRock Europe
  • James X. Zhan, Director, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD
  • Li Yimei, CEO, China Asset Management Co. (ChinaAMC)
  • Jose Carlos Doherty, Chairman, International Investment Fund Association; CEO, Brazilian Financial and Capital Markets Association (ANBIMA)
  • Magnus Billing, CEO, Alecta
  • Yves Perrier, Chairman of the Board, Amundi


  • Jean René Giraud, CEO, TrackInsight