Paris-headquartered BNP Paribas Investment Partners has expanded its range of SRI equities strategies with the inception of the responsible dividend concept.
The new strategy seeks to focus on high-dividend-yield equities, while selecting companies on the basis of financial and non-financial criteria.
Selected stocks must meet the following criteria:
• Controlling exposure to controversial ESG issues: compliance with sector policies on controversial activities (controversial weapons, palm oil, nuclear power, etc.) and with the United Nations Global Compact;
• Compliance with ESG criteria through the exclusion of the bottom decile of companies with the lowest-rated ESG practices within each sector;
• A dividend payout policy that does not undermine the company’s ability to invest, through the exclusion of companies that fund their dividends with debt or reserves;
• A ‘balanced’ split in company earnings, by gradually integrating factors covering the allocation of income between shareholders, employees and reserves.
Parvest Sustainable Equity High Dividend Europe, manageing €800m in assets as of end May 2016, already includes this new approach in its investment strategy.
The fund is available to all international investors through the Parvest range of funds, which is distributed in more than 30 countries.
Gaëtan Obert, head of Sustainable Thematic Equities at BNP Paribas Investment Partners, comments: “Through the growing area of high-dividend equities, BNPP IP continues to extend its long-standing expertise in managing SRI themes. This innovative ‘Responsible Dividend’ approach marks a new stage in our strategy of offering our clients first class SRI management.”
BNPP IP manages over €3bn in assets in high dividend equity strategies.