Fondaction was created in 1996 by the Confédération des Syndicats Nationaux (Confederation of National Labour Unions). As of May 31 2020, Fondaction had CA$ 2.26 billion of assets under management.
Fondaction has been considering the environmental and social externalities of their investments since they started operations, as such they became signatories to the PRI in 2011. Furthermore, as part of their climate strategy, Fondaction has implemented a negative screening criteria based on the ownership of fossil fuel reserves and has succeeded in reducing by half the carbon footprint of its investments from 2015 to 2018. Finally, the organization has launched innovative thematic funds seeking to invest in companies involved in the rehabilitation of soils, climate solutions, and sustainable agriculture in emerging countries.
Financial Times: Just weeks before Boohoo was hit with fresh allegations about poor working practices in factories that make its clothes, MSCI gave the UK fast-fashion retailer a clean bill of health. [Full article available to Financial Times subscribers.]
Financial Times: As 2020 kicked off, Dan Gocher at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, a shareholder advocacy organisation, was feeling “pretty optimistic” about its plans to force big Australian energy companies to tackle climate change. [Full article available to Financial Times subscribers.]
Financial Times: In late June, a climate-related proposal set before the annual general shareholders’ meeting of Mizuho Financial Group was soundly rejected after receiving a little over a third of the votes cast. Yet defeats, say sustainability experts, have rarely been so revolutionary. [Full article available to Financial Times subscribers.]
Financial Times: The venture capital industry structurally discriminates against minorities. That statement should provoke alarm, but most people that work in the technology ecosystem have come to accept it. [Full article available to Financial Times subscribers.]
Institutional Asset Manager: EFAMA says that this may be the result if the European Commission (EC) decides to implement overly-prescriptive rules or makes sustainable investment products a “default option” for end-investors, when it publishes its Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy in the third quarter of 2020.
Bloomberg: A group of former Morgan Stanley employees is asking the Wall Street firm to release them from confidentiality agreements so they can tell their stories of alleged racial discrimination at the bank.
Institutional Investor: Investors including California’s $246 billion teachers’ pension fund sent letters Tuesday to the heads of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Securities and Exchange Commission, and other major financial agencies calling for regulatory action on climate change.
Bloomberg: The Italian oil company Eni SpA will set a goal of reaching net-zero emissions in its European operations by 2050, Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi told Bloomberg in an interview. In doing so, Eni will become the fifth oil major to have made a similar pledge within the past year. (Repsol SA, BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA got there first.)
Bloomberg: Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board joined more than 200 Canadian organizations in promising to fill at least 3.5% of their top executive and board roles with Black leaders by 2025.
Founded in 1767, Storebrand offers pension, savings, insurance and banking products. With NOK 633 billion (US$ 70 billion) of assets under management as of December 31 2019, Storebrand is Norway's largest private asset manager.
Storebrand first appointed a Sustainable Investment team in the mid 1990s to develop the firm's approach to negative exclusions. Today, the firm implements a screening criteria to all its funds around environmental practices, corruption, human rights, coal, oil sands, controversial weapons, cannabis and unsustainable palm oil. Furthermore, Storebrand developed a scoring methodology for companies that enables them to assess both ESG risks and contribution to the SDGs in a consistent manner.
Pensions & Investments: Ceres says companies addressing the systemic risk of climate change should make sure their lobbying activity is compatible.
Institutional Asset Manager: Global exchanges are making the most of growing investor demand for sustainable products and ramping up their provision of ‘green’ bonds, making them the most commonly offered ESG investments for the first time.
Pensions & Investments: Improving diversity in the asset management industry will require better data from investment managers and consultants and client demand, panelists said Thursday at the SEC's asset management advisory committee meeting.
Citywire Selector: A group of investors managing combined $4.6tn in assets has held a meeting with members of the Brazilian congress to discuss the preservation of the country’s tropical forests.
Financial Times: European banks have helped prop up some of the continent’s biggest coal-burning polluters with billions of euros in loans despite their own public policies. [Full article available to Financial Times subscribers.]
Bloomberg: Bridgewater Associates and former co-Chief Executive Officer Eileen Murray are still negotiating an exit package three months after she left the world’s biggest hedge fund -- a fight that has dragged on because Bridgewater’s offer is both less than what has been paid to men who left the firm and below the status of her position.
Financial News: Fund managers are paying more attention to social considerations, such as labour rights and diversity, than they were prior to the outbreak of coronavirus.
Financial Times: One of the US investment industry’s top regulators has called for asset managers to provide clearer explanations of how environmental, social and governance metrics could affect the performance of ESG-labelled funds. [Full article available to Financial Times subscribers.]
IPE: EU sustainable finance policy-making began with a vengeance in 2018, when the European Commission unveiled and embarked on its Action Plan for Financing Sustainable Growth. Two years later, the Commission is preparing to adopt a new, “more ambitious and comprehensive” sustainable finance strategy.
The British Columbia Investment Management Corporation ("BCI") provides investment management services to 11 pension plans, government bodies, public trusts and sinking & government operating funds based in British Columbia, Canada. The investment manager had CA$ 153.4 billion of assets under management as at March 31, 2019.
BCI is an organization that believes that the consideration of ESG issues can improve the financial outcomes of its investments. Last week, BCI released its new ESG strategy based on four pillars:
Finally, BCI established with APG, AustralianSuper and PGGM the Sustainable Development Investments Asset Owner Platform (SDI AOP), an artificial-intelligence driven platform to enable investors assess companies on their contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Bloomberg: For Black professionals who get job offers on Wall Street, there’s pay and benefits to consider. But also isolation, bias and racism.
Financial Times: Asset managers are gearing up for a battle with the Trump administration over a new proposal that threatens investors’ ability to incorporate environmental, social and governance principles into pension portfolios. [Full article available to Financial Times subscribers.]
Bloomberg: Climate activist group Extinction Rebellion called on the Bank of England to stop providing emergency funding to companies that contribute to climate change.
Financial Times: In recent years, some investors have felt so irritated by the pious tone of the environment, social and governance sector they have joked that the ESG acronym should stand for “eye-roll, sneer and groan”. [Full article available to Financial Times subscribers.]
World Bank Blog: The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live and work, throwing so much about the future into doubt. Amid the crisis, governments, financial institutions and investors are focused on the immediate challenges of saving lives and businesses and minimizing long-term market disruption.
Reuters: The European Commission’s decision to hire BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, to advise it on new environmental rules for banks, has triggered an investigation by the European Ombudsman following complaints by several lawmakers and a civil group.
Institutional Investor: Before asset managers can successfully invest in companies according to environmental, social and governance principles, they need to get their own houses in order. But such a cultural reset takes a big investment in time and money.
The Sydney Morning Herald: In the “About Us” section of the AMP Capital website, there is a subheading about “Culture and Diversity” which assures the reader that “fostering diversity and inclusion empowers our global workforce”.
Citywire Selector: The future may well be green for passives. With ETF giant BlackRock nailing its colours to the ESG mast, the sheer volume of assets allocated to ESG via passive strategies is likely to skyrocket in the not-too-distant future.
The Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA) was introduced to administer a pension trust fund providing defined retirement and death benefits to eligible Los Angeles County employees. As at June 30, 2019, LACER had US$ 58.2 billion of assets under management.
As an UN PRI signatory, LACERA integrates ESG factors into the investment analysis that might impact the risk/return profile of their investments. Additionally, ESG is integrated in the selection and monitoring of external assets managers as one of 5 core components. Finally, LACERA collaborates with its peers to push for better practice regarding board diversity in Californian companies, climate resilience and sustainability reporting.
Wall Street Journal: When Charles Scharf took over at Wells Fargo & Co. last year, tasked with moving the bank past a fake-accounts scandal, he brought in a cleanup crew of former colleagues from his long career on Wall Street.
Los Angeles Times: Just as 2020 seemed like it might be a breakthrough year for corporations looking to combat climate change, the novel coronavirus emerged.
Reuters: Companies voicing support for racial equality should back up their talk by releasing their workforce diversity data, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer says in letters being sent to 67 companies in the S&P 100 on Wednesday.
Pensions & Investments: Combining environmental, social and governance assessments for companies into an aggregated score can present a trade-off in performance.
Institutional Asset Manager: The coronavirus crisis has triggered some ESG rebalancing in the sustainable fixed income space in favour of social bonds, according to NN Investment Partners. In the past, green bonds have dominated, but the firm says that a heightened focus on the social implications of the pandemic has shifted the emphasis from E to S in the last couple of months, and led to an increase in bonds that raise funds for social projects.
Financial Times: Coronavirus and its economic consequences threaten to wipe out progress on gender equality at work as women are at greater risk of losing their job, more likely to be exposed to infection and take on more of the burden of unpaid care, the International Labour Organization has warned. [Full article available to Financial Times subscribers.]
Institutional Asset Manager: Banks, investors and insurers need to understand their impact and dependency on nature, and start setting targets such as ‘net positive impact' to achieve international policy goals on biodiversity, finds new research by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Natural Capital Finance Alliance (NCFA).
Bloomberg: MetLife Inc., the largest U.S. life insurer by market capitalization, sold green bonds for the first time ever as it issued $750 million of debt, adding to a surge in issuance of the securities from the financial sector.
Institutional Investor: Alongside Bono, Richard Branson, and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, private equity firm TPG launched the Rise Impact fund in 2016. The offering committed “to deliver positive and sustainable impact” while creating a “top-performing fund.” At the time, Bono remarked that “capitalism is going up on trial, and I think that it’s clear that putting profit before people is a nonsustainable business model.”