Driving ESG Investments into Emerging Markets: Roadblocks and Solutions

Research by MOBILIST and Intellidex has unearthed new evidence about how institutional capital allocation strategies can direct capital away from emerging and frontier markets. For example, it is a common assumption that ESG strategies support development-oriented investment. The research shows this is not always the case. Based on interviews with over 50 investment decisionmakers and consultants involved in asset allocation to emerging and frontier markets, the research demonstrates pathways to improve the flow of capital to emerging and frontier markets.

The research draws out several further insights for emerging and frontier investment flows, including:

  • How the relative performance of emerging and developed indices is affecting asset allocation decisions;
  • How global monetary conditions and the prospect of higher inflation are affecting emerging markets flows;
  • How emerging market domestic policies affect foreign portfolio investment appetite.

To discuss these findings, the Impact Investing Institute hosted the “Driving ESG Investments into Emerging Markets: Roadblocks and Solutions” event on Tuesday, 14 June, 14:00-15:30 (BST/GMT+1). The event was held in partnership with MOBILIST and Intellidex.

The virtual event launched the findings of the report “Drivers of Investment Flows to Emerging and Frontier Markets” and hosted a panel discussion featuring institutions leading the way to highlight the challenges, opportunities, benefits and collaboration potential within emerging and frontier markets.



Laurie Spengler

President and CEO of Courageous Capital Advisors LLC

Laurie moderated the discussion.

Stuart Theobald

Chairman, Intellidex

Stuart shared findings from recent research on institutional investor capital allocation strategies and appetite for emerging and frontier market listed products. Using his expertise in advising governments on emerging market capital and financial services, Stuart highlighted the research findings’ implications for investment and policy professionals.

Gregory Smith

Emerging Markets Fund Manager, M&G Investments

A fund manager and PhD economist, Gregory shared reflections on how M&G Investments had navigated frontier and emerging markets.

Sarah Norris

Investment Director and Head of ESG-Equities, abrdn

Drawing on her experience managing portfolios and expertise in ESG equities, Sarah used her experience investing in emerging and frontier markets to test and reflect on the research findings.