Aegon invests around €817 billion (September 2017) on behalf of our customers, offering the best possible long-term returns, consistent with their individual risk profiles and requirements.
Balancing returns and social benefits
Aegon Asset Management believes in active, responsible and engaged investment. At Aegon Asset Management, we believe Responsible Investment helps to pinpoint risk, and may improve returns over the longer term. For us, Responsible Investment is about making sure we take environmental, social and governance factors into account when we invest. It's also about targeting some of our investments in areas we know will bring definite social or environmental benefits, as well as financial returns.
Since 2011 Aegon has published an annual Responsible Investment Report outlining its developing policies and positions on Environmental, Social and Governance issues (ESG) and how it addresses key sustainability issues globally.
We've also been a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and have a long established Responsible Investment Committee. In 2015 we introduced a Responsible Investment Strategy Committee (RISC) to focus on our long-term direction.
Investing for future generations
Discover how responsible investment is embedded in Aegon's business
"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," explains Sarah Russell, CEO of Aegon Asset Management.
The scale of the looming problem of climate change is immense, so is the need for funding innovative solutions to help transition to a low carbon economy. At Aegon Asset Management we are working on several levels to assess the risks and opportunities that such a transition is expected to bring, and we are closely cooperating with other investors and stakeholders on global initiatives to tackle the climate change issue together.
Learn more about the progress we've made in Aegon Asset Management's 2017 Climate Change Report.
Sustainability in the investment processes
We believe that by taking ESG factors into account in our investment research and decision-making, we can enhance investment performance for all our clients. As responsible investors, our portfolio managers and analysts seek to identify where ESG risks may impact our investments. It is about pinpointing issues that are material to our investments and material to our clients in a context of growing awareness of sustainability issues.
We ensure that portfolio managers and analysts at Aegon Asset Management are well-positioned to consider ESG in their investment work, by providing them with training and the best available ESG data and research, and by ensuring that they have easy access to this data, for example by incorporating this into the tear-sheets.
Socially Responsible Investment Funds
At Aegon Asset Management, we target investments to have a positive impact either through our direct investments or our innovative Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Funds. Aegon currently offers a number of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) funds in the UK, the Netherlands and Hungary.
For SRI funds we look for categories of investments that perform well in terms of ESG, or focus on the best performers in certain sectors. Funds that exclude certain sectors or activities that don't meet specific ESG criteria, such as companies with poor human rights records, or companies active in the arms or tobacco industries.
Total assets held in ethical or SRI funds (€ billion)
As of December 2017, Aegon had more than €4.2 billion of assets under management (AuM) in Socially Responsible Investment products. In addition, AAM's joint venture in China, Aegon Industrial Fund Management Company also provide green and SRI funds.
Partnering for positive dialogue
As an active owner, Aegon Asset Management aims to promote the long-term success of companies in which we invest. We believe it is in our clients' best interests that we monitor companies' ESG performance and activities, vote on the shares that we manage and engage companies on issues like strategy, risk and corporate governance. These are powerful tools with which we can positively impact companies and are working in collaboration with other global asset managers help accelerate change.