We remain steadfast in driving progress to a sustainable future.

By Marco Morelli, AXA IM Executive Chairman

Investment does not have to be a binary choice between sustainability and strong financial performance. Clients need clarity on Responsible Investing (RI) – and they also want to see their assets perform. This 2023 Stewardship Report sets out how AXA Investment Managers works to meet both these goals and how, in doing so, the company reinforces its purpose, ‘to act for human progress by investing for what matters’.

As an investor, AXA IM’s primary goal is to deliver returns and outcomes for its clients, whilst keeping responsibility central to everything it does. This includes enabling the transition to a more sustainable future and continuing to develop a distinctive industry-leading offering to enable clients to invest in sustainable strategies, or in sectors that will benefit from the transition.

The company also believes that proper consideration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors are additive to performance, which is why a robust and measurable stewardship and engagement strategy is fundamental to its approach; and why AXA IM’s RI teams advocate with industry bodies and regulators, vote with conviction at company meetings, and maintain dialogue with companies.

I am proud of AXA IM's record of engaging with companies across a considerable spectrum of ESG themes. In 2023, a substantial percentage of engagements focussed on climate change (37%), followed by corporate governance (17%), human capital (17%) and resources & ecosystems (16%). AXA IM’s teams also prioritise social relations, business ethics and public health. In addition, they ensure that engagements happen across a range of asset classes. This Stewardship Report 
includes case studies that demonstrate the impact of investor dialogue, and I was delighted to see the CFA has referenced AXA IM in their CFA ESG learning, as good practice for disclosure on engagement activity.

Looking ahead to the next three years of the company’s strategic plan, AXA IM will continue to be an advanced responsible investor, ensuring continued emphasis on stewardship as a key element of its approach to RI. The company will prioritise transparency, assertive engagement, and a focus on critical issues such as biodiversity loss, pollution and human and worker rights - as defined by the RI team and by the Portfolio Managers who are in regular dialogue with market participants. As AXA IM strives to provide the highest level of transparency to all its stakeholders, in 2024 the company will start disclosing the rationale for all votes against ESG-related shareholder proposals and against shareholder resolutions. In addition, it will provide clients with enhanced portfolio level Engagement Reports, giving more details on the content of those discussions, level of progress and objectives. As a business, now more than ever, it is important that the company is open about what it does and why it does it. Regular and public self-monitoring of RI efforts – through stewardship reporting and through tools such as the AXA IM for Progress Monitor – ensures that AXA IM holds itself to account.

Progress on sustainability also requires collective action and AXA IM is committed to remaining active within a range of collaborative initiatives, such as Climate Action 100+ initiative and Nature Action 100 (NA100) to help foster change.

I am confident that by maintaining the emphasis on transparency, commitment to a more sustainable future, and engagement with likeminded stakeholders, AXA IM will strengthen its ability to deliver sustainable long-term performance for clients. 

AXA IM Stewardship Report 2023
Download Stewardship Report 2023 (5.52 MB)