Asset managers have continued to improve the integration and consideration of sustainability factors within their operations and although meaningful progress is still needed in some areas overall the picture is positive, according to Redington.

As part of its annual sustainable investment survey the firm questioned 112 asset managers from across the world, covering 220 strategies and an aggregated $10trn (€8.6bn) in combined assets under management.

Positive findings included a 20% increase, to 70%, in the number of firms linking remuneration to the integration of sustainability risks, and increased emphasis on thoughtful, results-oriented stewardship.

However, Redington also found that of those asset managers who stated they had a stewardship and voting policy covering all of their assets under management, only 44% voted on 100% of resolutions and almost 10% did not exercise any voting rights at all.

The consultancy also reported that only 15% of equity engagements were considered by managers to be “deep” – consisting of at least three back-and-forth dialogues between a manager and company. Credit managers’ responses, meanwhile, showed that on average they were undertaking engagement across a low proportion – 25% – of their portfolios.

“Overall though, Redington believes that the current picture is a positive one,” the consultancy said in a statement.

“As stewards of the world’s capital, asset managers are in a prime position to maintain dialogues and positively influence a broad range of stakeholders,” said Nick Samuels, head of manager research at the firm.

“It’s therefore very reassuring to see the formation of industry partnerships and asset managers seeking to engage on sustainability topics with a broad range of key stakeholders beyond the companies they’re invested in.”

He added: “Fortunately, simple characteristics such as having a firmwide responsible investment policy and being a signatory to the PRI are also now the norm.”

He acknowledged that the datapoints captured by the consultancy were largely self-reported and said there “remains a duty on us to not only work with asset managers to drive progress, but to sustain our scrutiny of the robustness of these claims on behalf of our clients”.

Redington is a founding member of the recently launched Net Zero Investment Consultants Initiative.

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