Next episode of Pensioen Pro Partner Webinar: Wednesday September 29 14:00 - 15:00 CET

In the series of live 'Pensioen Pro Partner Webinar' broadcasts of up to 45 minutes, we talk to top people in the pension and investment world. The audience can respond directly and ask questions. On 29 September, we will discuss the opportunities of investing in EMD within an ESG framework. This combination offers interesting possibilities for Dutch pension funds that are on a global search for yield but also have to take the growing importance of ESG into account. Two experts of asset manager BMO Global Asset Management will share their knowledge and insights about this promising angle for an upcoming asset class, which can also be entered as an Article 8 investment.    

Would you like to attend a live broadcast? Participation is free of charge. You can register using the button below. After registration you will receive the link for the live broadcast.

ESG and Emerging Market Debt, a promising combination

This episode will be held in English. 

“Many emerging markets have a lower ESG-score than developed countries, but we don't exclude countries solely based on a low ESG-rank. It is important to stimulate change, avoid backward-looking and focus on momentum. Based on historical data, the emerging market hard currency sovereign debt has offered equity-like returns with fixed-income risk.”

Valentina Chen, Director, Co-Head, Emerging Market Debt at BMO Global Asset Management

“Thoughtful ESG engagement with EM sovereign issuers allows us gain a deeper insight into these markets than a simple reading of ESG/credit ratings. In addition, it provides the opportunity to influence policymakers to champion sustainability.”
Juan Salazar, Director, Responsible Investment at BMO Global Asset Management


Pension funds are on a global search for yield. In addition, they have to account for the growing importance of ESG, due to changing investor preferences and legislation such as the European SFDR-directive. In this respect, Emerging Market Debt (EMD) offers ample opportunities. The risk-return profile of this asset class is much better than investors realize. The combination with ESG may offer some challenges, but the advantages far outweigh these. Two experts of BMO Global Asset Management, a pioneer in ESG in Emerging Markets, will gladly share with you their experience and insights on ESG and EMD.

This webinar will address the most relevant questions about investing in EMD within an ESG-framework. What are the challenges and the opportunities? What is the best way to implement ESG in Emerging Market Debt, also as an Article 8 strategy? How can you take part in the growth and return potential of Emerging Markets and at the same time control the risks? How about diversification if strong ESG values lead to a much smaller investment universe? And how can we prepare best for the new SFDR guidelines in this segment? 

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Valentina Chen is Co Head of the Emerging Markets Debt team. She joined the company in 2019 from Bank Vontobel AG in Zurich where she was an executive director and senior portfolio manager responsible for a range of EM strategies, including leading the EM local currency and EM blend strategies. Prior to this she spent 9 years at Aviva Investors as Head of Emerging Markets Local Currency. Chen holds an MSc in Economics for Development from University of Oxford and a First Class BSc in Economics, Politics and International Relations from University of Warwick. She's both a CFA and CAIA charterholder.

Juan Salazar is a research and engagement specialist with over 20 years of experience, 10 of which have been at BMO Global Asset Management. He conducts research and engages on a range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues with companies across emerging and frontier markets, with the aim of assessing ESG risk management practices across our holdings and promoting their improvement. Prior to joining the firm, he worked in credit risk management at ABN Amro Bank, assessing credit and ESG risks present in the bank’s global corporate lending operations. Salazar holds a master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and a BSc in Industrial Engineering. He's a native Spanish speaker.


Manno van den Berg is event content manager for FD Business. As such, he is also a moderator for Pensioen Pro Partner Webinars. For many years, he was one of the leading financial journalists in the Netherlands writing for De Financiële Telegraaf with in-depth knowledge about the financial sector, investing, and personal finance. He also has been responsible for investment content for asset manager NN Investment Partners and is currently active as a content advisor. 

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