Investment in SRI grows to $12trn in US

Pedro Gonçalves
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Investment in SRI grows to $12trn in US

Sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investing assets now total $12trn in the US, a 38% increase from 2016, according to the US SIF Foundation’s 2018 biennial “Report on US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends”.

The report found $11.6trn assets under management that incorporate environmental, social and governance factors at the outset of 2018 held by 496 institutional investors, 365 money managers and 1,145 community investing financial institutions.

In addition, 165 institutional investors and 54 investment managers collectively controlling nearly $1.8trn in assets filed or co-filed shareholder resolutions on ESG issues between 2016 and the first half of 2018, according to the report.

“We can see that investors, in increasing numbers, are rejecting the long-held fallacy that there is some sort of trade-off between investment performance and investing responsibly. Growing numbers of investors, particularly large-scale forward-thinking investors, agree with us, that as a matter of common sense, companies which have good governance, and which take a responsible approach to their impact on the environment and society at large are also likely to be well-managed in broader terms, have a lower risk profile, and be more likely to outperform,” Noel O’Halloran, chief investment officer at KBIGI said in a statement.

Dublin-based institutional asset manager KBI Global Investors said that it should come as no surprise to any firm with a strong commitment to Responsible Investing that investors continue to direct funds towards strategies that employ RI principles given the benefits that come from integrating ESG information into investment decisions, as reported by International Investment.

“The ESG performance of a company directly influences whether (and if so, how much) we will invest in that company, across all our portfolios; they see that as a source of competitive advantage that is increasingly attractive to many investors, as evidenced by the results of this latest US SIF Report.

“In a few years’ time it may well be as surprising to find an investor who doesn’t have regard to the ESG characteristics of a company as to find an investor who doesn’t have regard to the basic valuation metrics of a company. And from a KBI Global Investors point of view, this can only be a welcome development given our market-leading position in this area,” O’Halloran added.

According to the report, the proportion of shareholder proposals on social and environmental issues that receive high levels of support has been trending upward. “During the proxy seasons of 2012-2015, only three shareholder proposals on environmental and social issues that were opposed by management received majority support, while 18 such proposals received majority support in 2016 through 2018,” the US SIF news release said.

KBIGI enjoys an increasingly global client base and today holds mandates in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia. Part of the Amundi Group, is has additional offices in Boston, Massachusetts.

The firm manages over €9.8bn assets for a broad range of clients – public and corporate pension schemes, sub-advisory investors, foundations and endowments, wealth managers, private banks and investment intermediaries included.

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