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Asset management roundup: DWS integrates UN SDGs

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DWS – the new brand for Deutsche Asset Management – has said it has “systematically integrated” the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

It has implemented a new rating system that uses MSCI’s ESG Sustainable Impact Metrics data to measure how companies and their products or services contribute to the UN’s 17 SDGs

DWS said the system meant it could “identify ESG leaders” through companies’ contributions to the SDGs and their wider compliance with “ESG quality and norm tests”.

However, an initial analysis of equity indices found that in each case fewer than half of the underlying companies made a positive contribution, DWS said.

Petra Pflaum, CIO for responsible investments at DWS, said: “Our new SDG rating system significantly enhances our ability to differentiate issuers of equities and bonds based on their contribution to making the world a better place.”

UK trade body links with careers group for diversity push

The UK’s asset management trade body has merged with careers group Investment 20/20 as part of an effort to improve diversity in the industry.

In a joint statement, Investment 20/20 and the Investment Association (IA) said they would work to “make the investment industry more accessible and attractive to those from different backgrounds and at all stages of the career path”.

They will also seek to improve the number of people returning to the industry after career breaks and attract people from other industries.

Investment 20/20 said it had “enabled” more than 1,000 trainees to start careers in the asset management sector in the five years since it was established.

Chris Cummings, CEO of the IA, said: “We want to build on the excellent track record of Investment 20/20 to date and ensure greater diversity is firmly at the heart of the investment industry. By joining forces, we can provide more firms access to Investment 20/20’s services.

“A diverse workforce and a strong pipeline of talent are key to the success of any forward-looking industry, helping businesses to encourage innovation and new ideas. Our industry must also better reflect the customers it serves and that means raising awareness of careers within our sector and proactively growing an inclusive workforce.”

Karis Stander, managing director of Investment 20/20, added that the partnership with the IA would improve the careers group’s “reach and scale”.

“Our industry makes a significant contribution to society and provides tremendous opportunities so it is vital that we build a strong pool of talent for the future with young people from all backgrounds to reflect the rich and diverse makeup of the UK,” she said.

Investment 20/20 will keep its brand following the merger.

La Banque Postale Asset Management pledges 100% SRI management

France’s €216bn La Banque Postale Asset Management (LBPAM) has set itself a target of managing all its funds under a “socially responsible investment” (SRI) approach by 2020.

In parallel, the asset manager said it would work with those institutional clients whose assets did not yet integrate “extra-financial filters”.

Currently just over 50% of its assets – around €109bn – were managed according to an SRI approach, it said.

Announcing the commitment last week, president of the board Daniel Roy said the objective was ambitious but the expression of a belief fully shared by the Banque Postale group teams.

The asset manager would marshal all its resources to progressively get all its clients adhering to the approach, he added.

A 70% subsidiary of La Banqe Postale, LBPAM was ranked 88th in IPE’s 2017 Top 400 Asset Managers report.

Two more managers sign up to public sector cost disclosure code

JP Morgan Asset Management and BNY Mellon Investment Management are the latest fund managers to sign up to the Local Government Pension Scheme’s (LGPS) cost transparency code.

Both companies were added to the LGPS Advisory Board’s website this week.

According to LGPS funds’ annual reports, JP Morgan ran money for at least 14 local authority schemes.

The vast majority of groups running money for the LGPS has signed up to the code. Used to illustrate costs, the templates are currently being adapted by the Institutional Disclosure Working Group, following concerns from the UK financial watchdog that costs were not clear enough.

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