Leading global law firm, Baker McKenzie has advised Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (the Trust Bank) on a joint venture with First Sentier Investors to establish the First Sentier MUFG Sustainable Investment Institute. Amid a growing awareness of environmental and social issues and rising focus on sustainability issues, investors are increasingly seeking neutral, practical research on sustainable investments. The Institute will contribute to the growth of sustainable investing and the development of global capital markets while engaging in initiatives with a broad range of stakeholders to seek solutions for social issues. The Institute has established an Academic Advisory Board comprised of external academics from Europe, the US and Japan to discuss industry trends and market concerns related to sustainability from a neutral perspective. The Institute will direct and commission research on a wide range of topics relating to sustainability, including macro and systemic changes, their impact on sectors, economies, society and the natural environment, as well as how they impact the performance of companies.

The Trust Bank was established in 1927. With total assets of 48 trillion yen as of March 31, 2021, it is one of Japan's largest trust banks. Besides operations in Japan, the Trust Bank serves customers to pursue its global business through a worldwide network of branches and subsidiaries in Asia, Europe and the United States. As Japan's major trust bank, the Trust Bank offers high-quality and comprehensive financial services for customers, which include various commercial banking services as well as asset management and administration, real estate, and stock transfer services.

James Burdett, Partner in the Corporate practice at Baker McKenzie in London said: "We are delighted to have assisted the Trust Bank on this important step in advancing the global sustainable investment agenda. This mandate is the latest example of the long relationship we have with the Trust Bank, which included advising the Trust Bank on its acquisition of First Sentier Investors in 2019 (then known as Colonial First State Global Asset Management)."

Commenting on the transaction, Baker McKenzie's the Trust Bank relationship Partner, Toshio Shimada (Tokyo) said: "We have been privileged to work with the Trust Bank team again on this project. This illustrates the ability of Baker McKenzie to continue to successfully assist the Trust Bank to execute multinational, market-leading mandates in the financial services industry.”

The London-based Baker McKenzie team was led by Corporate Partner James Burdett alongside Corporate Associate Jacob Turner and supported by Partner Michelle Blunt (IP), Senior Associates John Bracken (Employment) and Mara Ghiorghies (Competition) and Associate John McGovern (Data Protection).
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