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Robeco ranks first in SI survey of global asset managers

Robeco ranks first in SI survey of global asset managers

09-03-2020 | Insight
Robeco has topped a survey of 75 global asset managers for the quality of its sustainable investing offering and approach.
  • G.O.J.M. (Gilbert)  Van Hassel
    G.O.J.M. (Gilbert)
    Van Hassel
    Chief Executive Officer

Speed read

  • Robeco is awarded first place for SI in ShareAction survey
  • Ranking based on disclosure and management of ESG risks
  • Larger firms rank much lower due to substandard approach

The accolade from the UK research group ShareAction follows its review of the sustainable investment practices of the world’s largest asset managers in its influential Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP).

The group ranked asset managers according to their responsible investment practices, with a specific focus on governance, climate change, human rights and labor standards, and biodiversity. The survey scrutinizes the disclosure and management of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and impacts across their portfolios.

Using data collected through an extensive survey aligned with the Task force on Carbon-related Financial Disclosures, as well as publicly available information, the report gives an overview of global trends in the adoption of responsible investment practices within the asset management industry.

The survey also reveals that there are huge differences between regional markets, and that many asset managers are still failing to translate public commitments into strong action on stewardship and wider ESG integration.

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We’re extremely proud

“We are extremely proud to be recognized as a sector leader in ShareAction’s assessment,” says Gilbert Van Hassel, CEO of Robeco. “Our place at the top of the leaderboard reflects our longstanding history in this field, and our commitment to driving positive change through rigorous stewardship and focus on ESG integration.”

“Robeco already saw the potential of including sustainability as a way to add value for our clients in the 1990s, and this ranking reflects our rich heritage and long-term expertise in this field. Sustainability expertise is not something you can build overnight, but it’s good and important to see so many asset managers now joining in, as we won’t be able to solve big problems like climate change on our own.”

“However, it is equally important that statements in the public domain are backed up by actions and concrete initiatives. This report provides insightful information as to which asset managers are putting their money where their mouth is.”

Improvement needed

The report further reveals that over half of the 75 surveyed managers have a very limited approach to managing ESG risks and impacts, showing that across the sector, there is still much improvement to be made.

“ShareAction’s most ambitious study yet reveals who is really walking the talk on environmental and social issues, and who is dragging their feet in the asset management space,” says Felix Nagrawala, Senior Analyst at ShareAction.

“While many in the industry are eager to promote their ESG credentials, our analysis clearly indicates that few of the world’s largest asset managers can lay claim to having a truly sustainable approach across all their investments.”

“Our results show that some asset managers, including Robeco which ranks first, are showing real leadership and are a positive exception. We hope that Robeco’s approach and scores serve as a good example for the sector, and that other asset managers follow suit.”

RIAM neither asked nor paid to be considered in this ranking by NGO ShareAction. For a complete description of the survey, rankings and award selection criteria, please click on the accompanying link to the ShareAction brochure.

Commentary Carola van Lamoen

Head of Active Ownership Carola van Lamoen explains how Robeco's long term commitment to sustainable investing led to this top ranking and she stresses the need for investors worldwide to step up their efforts in sustainable investing to further increase impact.
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