Amundi zeroes in on ESG investing

January 28, 2020

Paris-based Amundi Asset Management became Europe’s largest asset manager in 2017 and it is one of the top ten in the world with about $2.1 trillion CAD (€1.5 trillion) of assets under management. Amundi is also a leader in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment criteria. Amundi launched its first Responsible Investment fund in 1989 and has currently 70 ESG investment experts on staff. It also has 18 analysts devoted to ESG and voting issues who apply nine measures when evaluating companies. Amundi’s ESG philosophy, which is posted on its web site, says a money manager’s responsibility extends beyond the purely financial. Amundi has therefore built (ESG) criteria into its investment policies and says this approach “provides an all-round vision of companies and consolidates value creation.” Underlying ESG integration is the conviction that a strong sustainable development policy enables issuers to better manage regulatory and reputational risks and also contributes to improving their operational efficiency. This enables investors to take into account long-term risks (financial, operational, reputational, etc.) and to fully exercise their responsibility. Amundi says its approach encourages companies to adopt better practices and so Amundi is a driver of progress and change in its industry. Its process excludes less well-rated ESG companies and countries from its portfolios. In terms of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI), Amundi is positioned among the global leaders with approximately $440 billion CAD (€275 billion) in SRI assets under management, representing close to 20% of total assets under management as at December 31, 2018. In an interview with Funds Europe, CEO Yves Perrier says Amundi aims to integrate ESG criteria into all of the firm’s exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by 2021. He also aims to raise money to finance investments in renewable energy sources as a way to transition away from fossil fuels.  He said Amundi’s assets supporting energy transition and growth in green energy had reached $11.89 billion CAD (€8.2 billion) as of December 31, 2018. Amundi  is the sub-advisor to the recently launched Harvest Portfolios Group’s Harvest US Investment Grade Bond Plus ETF (TSX:HUIB). The ETF is being managed through Amundi’s U.S.  subsidiary Amundi Pioneer Asset Management USA Inc. based in Boston. The ETF is actively managed and has an investment-grade portfolio of bonds that are either Triple B or higher. For more on Harvest ETFs click here. The views and/or opinions expressed in the article are of a general nature and are for informational purposes only. Article contents should not be considered as advice and/or a recommendation to purchase or sell the mentioned securities or used to engage in personal investment strategies. Investors should consult their investment advisor before making any investment decision    

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