Corporate news

AXA Investment Managers boosts its responsible investment efforts through deeper ESG integration

  • 17 September 2018

  • Integration of ESG criteria within all the investment platforms
  • Significant hires to bolster efforts in central RI team and within investment platforms
  • Thematic focus that combines material financial risks with societal impacts

As clients’ demand for ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) accelerates, and following the strategic decision to integrate ESG analysis across its investment platforms, AXA IM is moving to the next phase of its commitment to RI to strengthen the Responsible Investment (RI) capabilities.

“Responsible Investment is one of our strategic priorities. Not only because clients are telling us that RI matters to them, but also because we are convinced of the important role finance plays in fostering a society that supports fairness and equity, as well as an environment that can sustain us in the future. Pursuing our ESG integration and developing further our RI offering is part of our investment plan announced in June, and we wish to seize this opportunity to make us better investors for our clients.” said Andrea Rossi, Chief Executive Officer at AXA IM.

Leveraging its two decades of RI experience, AXA IM is integrating ESG analysis into all of its investment platforms, providing fund managers with access to proprietary ESG scores and KPIs in their front office tools, as well as additional ESG data and research.  Additionally, RI specialists are progressively being embedded into each investment team to support fund managers incorporate ESG and impact analysis into their investment processes.

“This new step to integrate RI throughout the business will ensure that ESG integration combines the need for common views on thematic engagements, voting and ESG scoring, while bolstering investment teams with detailed ESG corporate analysis. This will lead to increased transparency and clarity for our clients on the ESG footprint of their investments, allowing us to better engage with them and help to direct their funds into those companies that have a positive impact on society”, said Matt Christensen, Global Head of Responsible Investment at AXA IM.

“AXA IM has also developed an impact investing approach that goes beyond ESG risk monitoring to encompass those companies that are making positive contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Teams across the business are now even more involved in developing our RI offering, to better address our clients’ needs with the objective of reshaping certain strategies as ESG and launching new Impact strategies”, added Matt Christensen.

Within AXA IM the RI capabilities are now organised as follows:

  • A central RI team focusing on thematic research, corporate governance and shareholders engagement as well as on developing quantitative solutions.
  • Climate, human capital and health have been identified as the key thematic priorities of the centralised RI team. Lise Moret is covering climate change and Marie Fromaget is covering the Human Capital & Diversity themes. In addition to their responsibilities for the green and social bonds, Julien Foll is covering health and Alice Val is covering climate. Yo Takatsuki, will also join AXA IM as Head of ESG of Research and Engagement, effective November 1st.
  • ESG specialists within the investment platforms to conduct ESG analysis at the company level. Some have already joined the investment teams: Melina Leprince-Ringuet for Framlington Equities, Shah Khan for Rosenberg and Rebecca Greenberg & Augustin Monnoyeur for Fixed Income.

ESG integration is a firm wide approach at AXA IM, encompassing thematic and qualitative ESG analysis, proprietary ESG scoring, analytical solutions and reporting, as well as voting & engagement which all contribute to the investment decisions. In addition, ESG training is in place for all employees.

AXA IM manages €442 billion of ESG-integrated[1] assets under management (ca. 60% of the total assets under management), of which €16.8 billion are considered “sustainable investing”[2] assets.

    Note to editor

    [1] As of 30 June 2018. ESG integrated assets are assets which have ESG objectives, defined to fit the clients’ needs. In line with the vast majority of assets managed by AXA IM, these ESG integrated assets also benefit from active stewardship and apply exclusion policies on controversial weapons, coal, non-RSPO palm oil and derivatives on food commodities.

    [2] As of 30 June 2018. “Sustainable Investing” assets include assets for which the eligible universe is defined according to ESG criteria, as well as Impact investing assets. Impact investing focuses on financing businesses and projects that are designed to have intentional, positive and measurable impacts on society while simultaneously delivering financial market returns.