Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Good employer? Then AXA will invest in your shares

June 2008

A French asset manager has created the first socially responsible fund to target for investment European companies with best-in-class employment and working practices.

Paris-based Axa Investment Managers’ Human Capital Fund, which is mainly aimed at institutional investors, will hold European companies with a market capitalization of €4billion–€7bn (£3bn–£6bn, $6bn–£11bn) that its analysts consider have advanced policies and practices in areas such as quality of working conditions, health and safety, remuneration, working hours, and training.

Axa will rely on research from an in-house team, data from SRI research agencies and meetings with the companies themselves.

Jean-Marc Maringe, manager of the fund, told EP that Axa believed investment in companies with the best human capital management would produce higher returns than the benchmark Dow Jones Euro Stoxx mid-cap index, partly because productivity is likely to be higher.

He added that Axa had decided to concentrate on mid-cap companies because good employment practices tended to benefit their bottom line more significantly, when compared with larger businesses.

Among companies judged by Axa as best in class are Capita, Dassault Systémes, Kone, Novozymes, Serco Group and Sodexho.

Businesses involved in tobacco or the defence sector are excluded from the fund universe.

AXA | Europe | SRI

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