Fund managers making progress on the SRI frontDecember 2008
Leading UK fund managers have shown a marked improvement in their performance and disclosure on SRI issues during the past year.
The latest FairPensions analysis of asset managers highlights a ‘clear’ positive trend in last year’s results among the 20 funds studied in 2007 and 2008.
Overall there was a 23 per cent increase in average performance scores, which are based on marks awarded for issues such as whether a fund manager publicly discloses a clear SRI policy, whether it publicly reveals its engagement activities, and how many people it employs full-time to analyse and engage on responsible investment issues.
Improvements were noted at all levels. Two of last year’s mid-rank performers, Baillie Gifford and Standard Life, made particular strides, and some of the 2007 laggards – BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, State Street and Wellington – did noticeably better.
However, there was still a ‘striking disparity’ in performance. The leaders were judged to be showing a ‘deep commitment’ to responsible investment through their engagement activities and public disclosures, but some of the lowest-scoring asset managers gave ‘no indication of any coherent approach to managing environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities’.
The top five performers were F&C, Insight, Hermes, Aviva Investors, and Standard Life. The bottom five were State Street, Scottish Widows, Artemis, Invesco and Crédit Suisse.
FairPensions is a London-based charity that campaigns for fund managers to take greater account of social and environmental issues in their investment strategies.
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