Sovereign investors should play through the disruption

Benno Klingenberg-Timm, Head of Global Sovereign Markets APAC spoke with the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWFI) on climate change and how sovereign wealth funds should invest through and beyond disruption.

09 Sep 2019

Benno observes that climate change is a topic "that we’ve really seen coming up that wasn't there a couple of years back.” He says that this an “urgent matter” and “some sovereign investors will become increasingly concerned … and are ready to take action.”

Climate change will also be a disruptive force for investors. One way for sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) to incorporate this is to take a “more rounded look at how they allocate assets.” Benno explains that this will mean moving away from the boundaries of benchmarks and invest where potential growth is. Emerging markets especially Asia are attractive regions to invest in mega-trends around climate and urbanization themes.

What are the long-term challenges for sovereign wealth funds?

With the growing trend of populism, there could be increasing political sensitivity around the acquisition activities of sovereign investors and we might see an “increase in regulation from some countries against particular rival states … from countries where relations are challenged.”

The demand for more transparency is also likely and SWFs are stepping up on reports around their investments and performance updates.

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Benno Klingenberg-Timm

Head APAC Sovereign Clients – Global Sovereign Markets

Managing Director

Benno joined UBS Asset Management in Switzerland in 2002 as a Graduate Trainee. He joined the Middle East and Sovereigns business in 2004. In 2011 Benno relocated to Singapore to cover select South-East Asian sovereign clients in addition to his regional focus on the Middle East. In 2017 he became the Head of our Global Sovereign Markets APAC business.

As a member of the Global Sovereign Markets Management Committee and the UBS Asset Management APAC Management Committee he is responsible for leading our business efforts in APAC in advising sovereign entities and other institutional investors across all asset classes.

Benno graduated from ESB Business School in Reutlingen/Germany as Dipl.-Betriebswirt (FH) and from Portland State University (US) with an MBA (Finance). He is a member of the Singapore CFA Society and the Singapore CAIA Association.

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