EUROPE – Isis Asset Management says it will apply engagement methods to rate corporate bonds on socially responsible investing criteria.

It said it would follow from recent corporate scandals such as Ahold and Parmalat, where it was bond holders, not equity investors, who bore the brunt of losses.

“It’s what’s next, we don’t do it yet,” said Michel Bernard, director of institutional funds. “The engagement process is not that different.” Current SRI engagement traditionally targets equities.

“The context would be more or less the same,” he said. He told a conference organised by Isis that the position of a bond holder was strong, despite the lack of voting rights.

Bernard also said that Isis planned to measure its SRI effectiveness over the next two to three years. Yesterday Isis announced that it has been hired by Dutch metals industry pension fund Bedrijfstakpensioenfonds Metalektro to provide SRI screening.