Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management (SuMi TRUST), one of Asia’s largest asset managers with $761bn in assets under management, has appointed Hiroki Moritani as Managing Director of its London office, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust International Limited (SuMiTIL). As of March 2022, Hiroki takes over from Yukihiro Murota who will return to the firm’s Tokyo headquarters.

As Managing Director of SuMiTIL Hiroki will have overall responsibility for SuMi TRUST’s investment management business in the EMEA region, including global business development, new product development, and ESG engagement activities.

Hiroki has 26 years’ experience in the financial services and asset management industry. Prior to his appointment as Managing Director of SuMiTIL, Hiroki was the general manager for global business development, product management and distribution at SuMi TRUST’s global business development department in Tokyo. As part of his role, Hiroki led on client services and business development for global investors, including sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, family offices and investment consultants.

SuMi TRUST provides its global client base a wide variety of equity products, ranging from highly concentrated active and sustainability strategies focusing on Japanese, Asian and Global stocks to tailored passive investment solutions. Stewardship activities are an integral part of SuMi TRUST’s investment process and are led by a dedicated team based in Tokyo, London and the US working closely with the firm’s fundamental research analysts.

The firm works with investee companies to improve their ESG position and maximise long-term investment returns for its clients. In 2021, it conducted over 1,000 engagement activities with leading companies on issues ranging from disclosure of ESG information following the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and clarifying company policies on cross-shareholdings, to overseeing and monitoring shifts away from the use of petroleum products.

SuMi TRUST is a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative (NZAMI) as well as a number of other initiatives such as the Climate Action 100+, the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change and CDP Worldwide to name a few.

Hiroki Moritani, Managing Director of Sumitomo Mitsui Trust International Limited (SuMiTIL), said: “As an economy Japan is probably undergoing more structural change than other developed counterparts, principally because it is implementing overdue digital and IT reforms. This creates plenty of opportunities, especially for active managers like SuMi TRUST with a strong presence on the ground and deep reservoirs of local knowledge and experience. One of my principal roles as Managing Director of SuMiTIL will be to continue to work with our long-standing EMEA investors, many of whom I have worked closely with before in my previous roles in London and Tokyo, to ensure they can reap the benefits of this structural shift through various asset classes."

“My focus will also be on our ESG engagement activities. Now more than ever investors are (rightly) asking for ESG integration throughout the investment process as well as proactive engagement activity. I look forward to working with my colleagues in London as well as Tokyo and New York, to coordinate SuMi TRUST’s ESG activity globally.”

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