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Asset owners given new data to scrutinise ESG managers

sustainability_investmentCampaign group ShareAction has published a report said to give asset owners new data to scrutinise the responsible investment practices of fund managers. 

According to the group, responsible investment advocates have typically assessed ESG – or environmental, social and governance – practices against ideal standards and found asset managers falling short.

For asset owners, however, these assessments have proved of “limited” value in spurring progress from their asset managers, ShareAction said on Monday. 

The sustainability topics the group covers in the report include responsible investment governance, climate change, human and labour rights, and biodiversity. 

Each chapter includes a checklist of current leading practices that asset owners can compare with their managers’ practices, as well as case studies of specific managers’ implementation of these ideas. 

ShareAction said the move has been welcomed by asset owners.

Luba Nikulina, global head of research at Willis Towers Watson, said the guide was a key link between asset managers and their owners, helping to outline suggestions for where the sector needs to be moving. 

Colin Baines, investment engagement manager at NGO Friends Provident Foundation, said the data will enable asset owners to better hold managers to account by demonstrating that positive changes are “not just possible but have already been implemented by their peers”.

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