A version of this story first appeared in sister publication, CorporateTreasurer.
ESG-focussed data and intelligence firm, MioTech, has announced the appointment of Jack Lin as president of the firm. Effective immediately (Monday 22), Lin joins the firm at its Hong Kong headquarters, from where he will lead the company’s strategic growth and innovation plans.
Lin’s appointment follows that of Thomas Yap as general manager of the Southeast Asian region at its newly established Singapore base at the end of June. The firm also has a presence in Beijing and Shanghai.
Lin expressed to FinanceAsia his excitement about joining MioTech, where he said the most innovative of developments among the banking industry, financial institutions and tech spaces collide.
“Recent events notwithstanding, I’m confident in Hong Kong and Asia as a whole in terms of making a contribution to the ESG consciousness, globally.”
He said his initial priorities would focus on recruitment, in order to add to what he deemed a “world-class team”, as well as to ensure the stellar quality of the firm’s ESG data: to quantify and verify data points and to address any gaps in the Asian market.
“We are seeing large scale regulatory evolution across the major regimes in Asia, and we are delighted to play an active role in the development of the wider ESG-focussed ecosystem,” MioTech CEO, Jason (Jianyu) Tu told FA.
“But the fragmented nature of the region means that many corporates are looking for innovative solutions and tools to help them be in a position to access cheaper, green finance, while simultaneously contributing to net zero goals.”
Both local and global in scope
The MioTech team sees huge potential to transform the ESG mindset of corporates based in Greater China and Southeast Asia, in order to help them connect with the leading financial institutions in the region, he explained.
“While Southeast Asia’s secondary market might be smaller than that of Hong Kong, its primary market is abundant with unlisted corporates that need the support of a credible, independent adjudicator that can work with them to identify and build on their internal practices to prove their performance and tap into a lower cost of capital.”
He summarised the firm’s global effort as two-fold. “We are both local and international in scope. On the one hand, we are able to help local corporates improve their data and report accordingly to their stakeholders so as to gain access to the best of the region’s capital markets, while on the other, we are able to help companies better align with the international ESG conversation and elevate the region’s sustainability standards.”
Tu emphasised that the ratings offered by the firm assess all aspects of ESG, including a company’s corporate governance and the security of its services and capabilities.
“A company’s privacy efforts absolutely form an integral part of its ESG strategy,” Tu said, adding that corporates need to ensure security across all aspects of their value proposition in order to establish themselves as a reliable partner that clients, institutions and others would want to work with.
But while technological developments are transforming the landscape of the financial industry, Tu does not see blockchain as “the holy grail”.
“Human capital is vital to any successful business, and will continue to be” he said, explaining that while digital tools are of profound importance, they do not suffice when it comes to managing offline processes.
“Take carbon trading. Certainly, blockchain has huge potential when it comes to analysing digital records and executing platform trades, but it doesn’t have all the answers when it comes to measuring offline carbon emissions data.”
Additionally, Lin offered his thoughts on contrasting elements within the current ESG landscape. Drawing upon his international experience, he shared, “My observation is that while it might be fairly politicised in the West, the ESG conversation in Asia around sustainability and the wider ESG effort is incredibly pragmatic, and this approach requires reliability across numbers and data.”
Having commenced his career as an attorney in New York, Lin brings to his new role two decades of international experience in the finance industry.
He most recently served as managing director and head of APAC Client Coverage at index and analytics provider, MSCI, but also brings to the role extensive Asia-based leadership expertise from institutions including Amundi, Janus Capital. At Franklin Templeton, he was seconded as CEO of the Sealand Fund Management to lead the development of one of the first Sino-Foreign JV Asset Management firms in China, and also played an instrumental role in building other local operations for the firm in Korea, Japan and Vietnam.
“ESG isn’t a flash in the pan, it’s a consideration at the forefront of every financial decision, and a central part of all corporate and regulatory discussion,” Lin concluded.