Pax World was founded in 1971 to enable investors to align their investments with their values. The investment management company was the first to launch a socially responsible mutual fund using social as well as financial criteria in the decision-making process. As of 2017, Pax World manages over US$ 4.7 billion.
Today, the firm is still committed to sustainable investing – ESG factors are fully integrated in the investment analysis and portfolio construction. Further, the management company excludes firms involved in weapons, tobacco, oil sands, and coal. Pax World seeks to impact company behaviour regarding climate change and gender diversity by filing shareholder proposals and engaging with portfolio companies. Finally, the investment company reports on their approach to climate change using the TCFD recommendations.
Trust Net: Gender equality, climate change and the overuse of antibiotics are some of the issues which will dominate the conversations that BMO Global Asset Management’s responsible investing team have with investee companies this year.
PRI: As part of the programme on championing climate action, in 2018, the PRI introduced TCFD-aligned indicators to its Reporting Framework. Despite the indicators being voluntary, over 480 investors representing US$42 trillion opted to complete the indicators and submit responses. In 2019 the climate indicators will again be voluntary.
As You Sow: This 2019 study is the fifth report of our research results. During these five years, what has changed? Quite a bit, and not enough. Significantly, more large shareholders are voting against more CEO pay packages. Those who are not are more isolated and defensive.
IPE: Salt marshes around the Taw and Torridge river estuaries in North Devon, south-west UK, disappeared long ago due to land reclamation. However, a pilot programme considering conservation in the area has indicated they have potential to be restored as “blue carbon” (marine-based carbon offsets).
The News Market: The 2019 survey has found that nearly 81% of respondents are reporting ESG matters to their boards at least once a year, with a third (35%) doing so more often. Almost all (91%) report having a policy in place or in development, compared to 80% in 2013. Of these, 78% are using or developing KPIs to track, measure and report on progress of their responsible investment or ESG policy.
IPE: Information about investments’ impact on society and the environment should be included in UK pension dashboards, a government-commissioned impact investing group has said.
IPE: Swedish state pension buffer fund AP1 has begun selling SEK407m (€38.6m) worth of equities and bonds of Brazilian mining company Vale, after the AP Funds’ Council on Ethics recommended the exclusion the company from the AP funds’ portfolios.
TMX: TMX Group announced that Canada's premier equities exchanges Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange have joined the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative to promote sustainability performance and transparency in capital markets.
Established in 1911, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) is a state-owned asset management company that manages the funds of the Government Employees Pension Fund and the Unemployment Insurance Fund among others. With over USD 147 billion of assets under management as of March 2018, PIC is one the largest asset managers in Africa.
PIC's overall investment strategy seeks to align the portfolio to the UN Sustainable Development Goals through sound risk management and a focus on ESG issues. PIC's approach to ESG allows them to identify engagement topics to improve the corporate governance of their portfolio companies. The fund's investments in unlisted assets enable them to drive a more sustainable and inclusive society by investing in Energy, Healthcare, Affordable Housing, Student Accommodation and Education Support, and SMEs.
Colonial First State: In response to increasing legislation and policy, major economies have started regulating carbon and energy using a variety of approaches which will have differing implications for investors.
Greenbiz: Close to 39 percent of directors responding to advisory firm PwC’s annual survey of this community said that climate change shouldn’t be taken into account when forming corporate strategy, and roughly 30 percent think shareholders pay too much attention to this topic.
IPE: More than 140 asset owners, asset managers, wealth managers and other finance groups have asked major index providers to exclude manufacturers of controversial weapons from their mainstream indices. Will they get what they want?
Knight Foundation: Research across a multitude of fields and industries has identified the potential economic and social benefits of diversity. Yet the asset management industry continues to struggle with a lack of diversity. Research studies and articles have consistently documented the low level of representation by women and racial/ethnic minorities among asset managers. Analyzing and exploring diversity in the asset management industry is vital given its sheer enormity and the wealth it generates ($69.1 trillion in assets under management and $99 billion in profits in 2016).
JDSUPRA: On February 6, 2019, the Division of Corporation Finance (Staff) of the Securities and Exchange Commission published new interpretive guidance regarding board diversity disclosures, which should be considered when preparing proxy statements for upcoming annual shareholder meetings.
IPE: EU legislation aiming to increase the stability and sustainability of European companies “could fail” because of a lack of awareness and readiness on the part of investors, governments and regulators, Hermes Investment Management has suggested.
Top 1000 Funds: Credit ratings agencies are increasingly meeting demands from fixed income investors to better reflect ESG factors in their credit-risk analysis and bond pricing.
Market Watch: IHS Markit INFO, +0.81% a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions, today announced the launch of an environmental, social and governance (ESG) data collection and reporting solution for private equity (PE) firms, venture capital (VC) firms, their portfolio companies and investors. The solution is part of iLEVEL, a sophisticated platform connecting participants in private capital markets.
Expert Investor: German sustainable index constructor Solactive has announced a partnership with American data research group Truvalue.
Working in collaboration, the two companies are planning to create a new range of environmental, social and governance indices that use machine learning and artificial intelligence to score companies in their ESG credentials.
The Environment Agency Pension Fund (EAPF) is a defined benefit Local Government Pension Scheme with 39,500 beneficiaries and assets of £3.6 billion as of September 30th. EAPF has a strong focus on sustainable investing, accordingly they integrate ESG issues into all of their investment, engagement, and voting decisions.
As long term investors, EAPF recognizes Climate Change as a systemic and long-term material financial risk. To manage climate-related risks in their portfolio, the fund applies scenario analysis, carbon footprints 75% of their assets under management, and are compliant with the TCFD recommendations. Finally, EAPF works collaboratively with other investors through Climate Action 100+ and the Transition Pathway Initiative – a tool that ranks companies on their effectiveness to manage Climate risk, and reduce their carbon emissions – to engage with companies to mitigate and adapt to Climate Change.
MoneyObserver: Almost all (97%) of advisers surveyed said they were either ‘very concerned’ or ‘fairly concerned’ about the potential for clients becoming aggrieved that their money is invested in a firm deemed unethical, despite being labelled as an ESG investment. In recent years, environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment products have exploded in popularity. The problem, however…
IPE: Today, it is often about climate finance, for climate change mitigation or adaptation measures. The financing can come from both private and public sources. It is not only about discrete asset classes, but about cross-cutting activities such as risk analysis. One of the best-known facets of green finance are green bonds...
IPE: Green finance has become central to China’s attempts to green its economy and to clean up its heavily-degraded environment – for both public health and economic reasons. It is also looking to green finance to build its Belt-and-Road projects...
EconomicTimes: Amid the spate of corporate governance issues cropping up with rising frequency, Indian markets will see two entities launch the earliest funds based on Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) investing...
Opalesque: Institutional investors in the alternative investments industry are driving efforts to improve gender diversity at the funds and portfolios they invest in. However, recruiting, retaining and advancing women is still the biggest challenge, finds KPMG's sixth Women in Alternative Investment's report…
Financial Times: Less than one per cent of venture capital funds in the UK go to start-ups run entirely by women, government-commissioned research has found, revealing another yawning gender gap in the business world. The UK VC & Female Founders report for the Treasury discovered that for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p. All-male founder teams get 89p and mixed-gender teams get 10p...
IPE: During a climate-change debate at the IPE Real Estate Global Conference in Milan last year, fund managers and investors effectively called on the real estate industry to provide better data on the energy efficiency of buildings. A number of certifications, such as BREEAM and LEED, already exist, but they tend to gauge how efficient a building could potentially be, rather than how efficient they are in practice...
Bloomberg: Jeff Tannenbaum made his fortune through investing; now he’s investing that fortune. He’s chairman emeritus at New York-based Fir Tree Capital Management LP, the hedge fund he founded in 1994, though he began handing over investment responsibilities in the early 2000s and had ceased day-to-day portfolio management by the middle of the decade...
The United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund is a defined-benefit fund established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948, entrusted to provide retirement and related benefits to more than 205,000 staff and retirees of the United Nations and 23 other member organisations. The Office of Investment Management (OIM) manages a US$63 billion multi-asset class, global investment portfolio, 85 per cent of which is actively managed in-house. The fund invests globally in more than 100 countries and 27 currencies, and in multiple asset classes: global equities, global fixed income, private equity, real estate, infrastructure, timber, and commodities.
OIM began the journey towards sustainable investing decades ago by restricting investments in tobacco and armaments, reflecting the values of the United Nations. The office became a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in 2006. This was followed in 2008 by investing in the first green bonds, issued by the World Bank, and being the catalyst investor in low carbon exchange-traded funds in 2014.
MarketWatch: Oil major BP PLC’s board said Friday it will back a shareholder resolution at its annual meeting this year that would force the company to align its business strategy with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
BusinessGreen: In some quarters 2019 has already been labelled the 'year of the vegan'. From vegan sausage rolls to climate-friendly diets, barely a day has gone by without some news of how meat-light meals are better for consumer health and the planet.
IPE: CPPIB is selling €1bn in 10-year fixed-rate notes to enable it to invest further in eligible assets such as renewables, water and real estate projects, as well as diversify the fund’s investor base.
IFU: In June 2018, IFU signed an agreement with PKA, PensionDanmark, PFA, ATP, JØP/DIP, PenSam and Navest to establish the Danish SDG Investment Fund, which will support the UN Sustainable Development Goals through commercial investments. The total capital commitment in the first closing was DKK 4.1bn. In a second and final closing, commitments have been obtained from three additional investors: SEB Life & Pension, Secure SDG Fund and Chr. Augustinus Fabrikker Akts. With these three investors, the total commitment reached DKK 4.85bn, which is very close to the original target of DKK 5bn.
ShareAction: ShareAction’s new report, titled “Sleeping Giants – Are bond investors ready to act on climate change?” is based on 22 in-depth interviews with asset managers, asset owners and other corporate bond market professionals to explore their attitudes to engaging with issuers about climate change.
IPE: At the beginning of 2019, CBRE Global Investors announced it had held a first close for its debut social and affordable housing fund in the UK. The CBRE UK Affordable Housing Fund raised about £250m (€220m) from 13 UK institutional investors, The Big Society Capital.
Guru Focus: Morningstar, Inc. (Nasdaq: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today announced the Morningstar Low Carbon Risk Index Family, a new group of indexes that provides diversified exposure to equities across regions and emphasizes companies aligned with the transition to a low-carbon economy. Powered by Sustainalytics' Carbon Risk Ratings, the indexes are created through an optimization process that targets low portfolio-level carbon risk and fossil fuel exposure.
CityWire Selector: The new strategy will have an investment universe of 700 stocks across all geographies and sectors, made of global equities that best manage climate-related risks.