Ostrum Asset Management (Ostrum AM), an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers, has announced that the French SRI label certification process has been completed for three thematic equity strategies: Euro Dividend Grower, Global New World and Global Alpha Consumer.
Ostrum AM is relying on the accreditation body EY France for its equity SRI investment process certification.
With €22bn equity assets under management as at end of June 2019, the certification for the three thematic equity strategies is only a first step for Ostrum AM. Additional SRI labels are in progress and a full accreditation process is expected to be completed by the first half of 2020. Strategies eligible for certification include follow-on thematic strategies (Euro Smart Cities, Global Sport and European Consumer) as well as all cap and small cap strategies. Certification will apply to strategies investing in France, the Eurozone, Europe, Global Emerging Markets and Asia.
Ostrum AM's investment process relies on having in-depth knowledge of each company it is investing in. To achieve this, team members take on a dual role as "analyst/portfolio manager", empowering them to research and invest based on equally important financial and non-financial quality characteristics.
The ESG profile of a company falls under the non-financial analysis. The company's ESG profile will have a positive or negative effect on the Ostrum valuation model of the company, impacting the decision to invest, the expected upside and weight in the portfolio.
Active stewardship is also an integral part of Ostrum AM's responsible investment approach. By exercising voting rights, Ostrum AM can directly express its agreement or disagreement with decisions made by management of the companies in investment portfolios. Ostrum AM also engages with companies to ask for ESG transparency and better ESG practices. In 2018, Ostrum AM voted 9,305 resolutions and participated in 604 General Assemblies.
Jean-Louis Scandella, chief investment officer for Equities at Ostrum AM commented: "We see companies as a two-sided coin, meaning both financial and non-financial analysis are critical in getting an investment case right. Our 360 degree approach to stock selection and portfolio construction is designed to capture sustainable corporate growth and generate a positive return for our clients. EY France's SRI accreditation applies to our investment process and is recognition for our sustainable growth approach to equity investing."