Russell Investments, PIMCO and Vontobel have the most dedicated ESG or responsible investment analysts, according to data gathered as part of IPE’s Top 400 Asset Managers survey.

The 2019 survey for the first time questioned managers on the number of dedicated specialists in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing issues, as well as the number of corporate governance specialists.

Russell Investment came out on top of the ESG-related ranking, with 38 professionals fully dedicated to sustainable investment. PIMCO and Vontobel reported 36 each, while PIMCO also reported the highest number of corporate governance specialists.

A number of managers have hired for senior ESG or responsible investment roles in recent months. Last month Allianz Global Investors appointed Beatrix Anton-Groenemeyer as its first chief sustainability officer, while UK-based Majedie Asset Management hired Cindy Rose as head of responsible capitalism.

Brunno Maradei recently joined Aegon Asset Management as global head of ESG, having previously worked at the European Investment Bank. Natixis Investment Managers – France’s second-biggest asset manager – hired Harald Walkate last month as its first head of corporate social responsibility and ESG.

IPE’s survey asked asset managers to quote the number of dedicated ESG and corporate governance specialists, and compared the figures with the figure for total investment professionals at each firm. Companies that quoted the same figures for dedicated ESG or corporate governance specialists and total investment professionals were not included in the ranking.

The number of dedicated analysts does not reflect the level of dedicated ESG assets reported by investment groups, however. IPE asked asset managers to report how much of their European institutional assets were run on ESG principles.

Legal & General Investment Management reported that all of its €808bn in European assets were run to ESG principles, as did NN Investment Partners.

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Top 400 2019

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