Asset owners see global instability as the new normal, and the significance of ESG outweighing the politics, according to a Morningstar survey released Friday.
Morningstar Indexes and Morningstar Sustainalytics interviewed institutional asset owners in North America, Europe and Asia for a second annual Voice of the Asset Owner Survey.
One year after the start of the Ukraine war, its impact on energy markets and other destabilizing influences "have now become normalized in their eyes," a survey recap said. Despite higher inflation and geopolitical concerns including China, "asset owners are finding places to constructively deploy their capital this year," Morningstar said.
On ESG, most of the asset owners interviewed see it becoming integrated into investment practices due to "fundamental materiality," the survey said, despite politicization in the U.S. While all the asset owners saw ESG considerations as financially significant, there was a range of opinions on the relationship between financial materiality and impact.
On climate, the asset owners said they are looking beyond carbon to other issues like biodiversity and are actively engaged with climate advocacy groups.
A quantitative phase of the survey expected in the fall will explore the issues in greater detail, a Morningstar spokesman said.