GLOBAL Global asset managers say the level of assets they manage according to responsible investment criteria, such as themed sustainability funds, negative stock screening and activist engagementwith companies, will rise by more than $700bn (€443bn) in the next two years.

A study of 98 managers conducted by Investment & Pensions Europe and Responsible Investor magazine, entitled RI Landscape Asset Managers 2008 Survey, revealed current levels of responsible investment represented more than 10%or $2.2trn of assets at the world's largest asset houses, who collectively have $19.4trn in assets.

More importantly, managers predict by 2010 this figure will have reached $2.94 trillion - arise of $700bn or 35% - by 2010.

This rise in RI assets is predicted to be sharper among fund managers who do not already run their assets on a 100% RI basis - although 19 of the 98 respondents stated this was already the case - suggesting fund managers are increasingly recognising responsible investment as a mainstream approach.

That said, despite increasing evidence that ESG concerns can impact share prices, the majority of fund managers still do not integrate these factors into mainstream investment decisions, thesurvey revealed.

The asset managers RI Landscape 2008 is the sister to May's Asset Owners report, which found institutional asset owners, made up mostly of pension funds and investment foundations, manage over $1.5trn in assets but plan to increase their commitment to responsible investment by $137bn before the end of 2010.

Further information about this study will be available in the June edition of IPE.

Hugh Wheelan is editor of Responsible Investor magazine and IPE International Publishing Ltd is a shareholder of Responsible Investor.

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