Investor of the Year
The Asset Triple A - Asset Servicing, Institutional Investor and Insurance Awards 2019
27 Jun 2019 | The Asset
Pension Fund of the Year
The National Pension Service
The National Pension Service (NPS) of South Korea wins Pension Fund of the Year for 2018. NPS demonstrated flexibility through accelerated diversification of its portfolio as well as by upgrading its investment infrastructure. It strengthened its alternative investing capability by reorganizing its alternative investment teams by asset class. This was a major change from its previous organization by regional markets as well as a domestic and global team. Its reorganization by asset class addressed the difficulty of investing in alternative assets that cannot be easily classified by region such as private equity, real estate, and infrastructure. The NPS also strived to streamline the complicated internal decision-making process for alternative investment.
Real Estate Investor of the Year, Asia
ARA Asset Management
Singapore-based ARA Asset Management was recognized as the Real Estate Investor of the Year, Asia following a number of ground-breaking deals that showcased its regional capabilities. This included the first close of the ARA Real Estate Partners Asia II (AREP II) with close to US$300 million raised and two seed assets secured by December 2018. AREP II is a value-add, APAC focused strategy targeting the key gateway cities of Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Beijing and Shanghai. ARA also established its US investment acquiring hotel assets worth US$650 million.
Real Estate Investor of the Year, Hong Kong
The Link REIT continued to focus its investment strategy on Hong Kong and China. In 2018, the Link REIT undertook and completed the acquisition and divestment of a number of projects designed to improve sustainable returns. As of September 2018, Link REIT owns 138 properties with nearly 9 million square feet of retail space, about 61,000 car park spaces, and a 0.9 million square feet property under development in Hong Kong, as well as three properties with around 3 million square feet of retail and office space in China. It also focused on innovative deployment of technology, waste reduction, diversity and inclusion as well as green financing.
ESG Investor of the Year for Insurers, Asia
AIA wins ESG Investor of the Year for Insurers, Asia as it took the significant initiative of excluding tobacco manufacturing from its investment portfolio in 2018, divesting US$500 million in corporate equities and bonds.
It also became the first Hong Kong headquartered business to become a signatory to the PRI as an asset owner. This allows AIA to benefit from the resources of the PRI as it continues to integrate ESG considerations within its process and demonstrate its commitment to sustainable investment.
ESG Investor of the Year for Insurers, China
Ping An Insurance Group
The Ping An Insurance Group wins ESG Investor of the Year for Insurers, China. Ping An’s ESG initiatives are not part of its investment portfolio but are in the form of social support and poverty alleviation programmes.
At the end of 2018, Ping An had implemented the Ping An Rural Communities Support in nine provinces and autonomous regions across China. It invested 5.4 billion renminbi (US$780 million) for poverty alleviation, and built or upgraded over 400 rural clinics, trained 5,702 village doctors, built or upgraded 391 rural schools, and trained 4,819 village teachers.
Ping An also launched the Village Officer Programme which uses Ping An’s capabilities in insurance, financing, capital raising and technology to create a sustainable industrial poverty alleviation model which is also a trial in terms of impact investment.
ESG Real Estate Investor of the Year, Asia
ARA Asset Management
With a well-established ARA ESG Framework that enables effective identification, mitigation and resolution of ESG risks, ARA Asset Management is showing a strong commitment to incorporating ESG factors into their investment process and business operation. ARA has been improving energy efficiency in the buildings it manages, raising environmental awareness and committing to green causes. The company’s private funds received the GRESB Green Star logo status in the Diversified Office/Retail in East Asia in the 2017 GRESB Real Estate Assessment.
The company also supports philanthropy through staff volunteerism and charity.
With a strong corporate governance record, ARA has received numerous recognitions from the industry based on accountability, transparency, audit and internal controls independently assessed by professional bodies in Singapore.
ESG Real Estate Investor of the Year, Hong Kong
The Link Real Estate Investment Trust (Link REIT) undertook and completed the acquisition and divestment of a number of projects designed to improve sustainable returns in 2018.  
Last year, the company developed the Link REIT Green Finance Framework, an update to its previous Green Bond Framework 2016, under which it is planning to make green finance transactions, including bonds, loans and other debt financing instruments to support projects that improve the environmental footprint of buildings it owns and operates in Hong Kong and China.
The framework defines eligibility criteria in six areas including green buildings, energy efficiency and other environmental aspects. 
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