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Swiss Re to move $130 billion portfolio to track ESG indexes

The world’s second-largest reinsurer is done with legacy indexes that fail to account for companies’ performance on environmental, social and governance, or ESG, issues.

The Swiss firm is already 90 percent of way towards shifting its portfolio to track ESG indexes and expects to complete the switch by the end of the third quarter. “This is not only about doing good, we have done it because it makes economic sense,” Swiss Re’s chief investment officer, Guido Fuerer, told Reuters.

He said equities and fixed-income products with high ESG ratings “have better risk-return ratios.”

Indeed, the argument over ESG outperformance is largely over. So far this year, the MSCI ESG Leaders Index has outperformed the MSCI International World Price Index, gaining 11.2 percent to the world index’s 9.6 percent.

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