Aegon Asset Management maintains high scores for responsible investing
July 24, 2018, 8:06 CEST
Aegon Asset Management (AAM) and UK subsidiary Kames Capital have once again received high marks in the annual environmental, social and governance (ESG) assessment by a UN-backed organization that promotes responsible investment
For the second consecutive year, AAM scored A+, the highest possible rating, for strategy and governance of responsible investment activities in the annual assessment published by the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).
The asset management arm of global insurer Aegon achieved A or A+ scores for other modules of the assessment.
Responsible Investment helps to pinpoint risk, and may improve returns over the longer term. For AAM, this means taking environmental, social and governance factors into account when investing.
This also means targeting some investments in areas that will bring definite social or environmental benefits, as well as financial returns. Commenting on the threat posed by climate change, Sarah Russell, CEO of Aegon Asset Management says, "We have the power and the social obligation to use our investment capacity to make a difference. The dilemma remains whether what you and we do together is enough to achieve the scale and velocity of change required to protect our communities for future generations."
London-based Kames Capital, a PRI signatory in its own right, scored an A+ for strategy and governance in its assessment and maintained high scores on other modules. This was the fourth consecutive year in which Kames Capital have received the highest possible rating, which was awarded to just 23% of the PRI's 1,131 asset management signatories.
Commenting on the report, Ryan Smith, Kames Capital's Head of ESG Research, said: "We are delighted to have received such a positive feedback report. In addition to retaining our overall score of A+, we compare well with peers for each of the asset classes in which we invest, demonstrating how embedded ESG factors are across our investment teams. As we complete our tenth year as a PRI signatory, this underlines our longstanding commitment to responsible and sustainable investing."
In early 2005, the then United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan invited a group of the world's largest institutional investors to join a process to develop the Principles for Responsible Investment. A 20-person investor group drawn from institutions in 12 countries was supported by a 70-person group of experts from the investment industry, intergovernmental organizations and civil society.
The Principles were launched in April 2006 at the New York Stock Exchange. Since then the number of signatories has grown from 100 to over 1,800 investors.
The PRI's annual reporting and assessment process is designed to support the efforts of its signatories in their implementation of the Principles for Responsible Investment. This includes helping identify areas for improvement and supports continuous learning and development, year-on-year, across asset classes, and with peers at the local and global level. The PRI assessment also facilitates dialogue between asset owners and investment managers on responsible investment activities and capabilities.