Please read this important information before proceeding further. It contains legal and regulatory notices relevant to the information contained on this website.
The information contained in the Website is NOT FOR RETAIL CLIENTS - The information contained in the Website is solely intended for professional investors, defined as investors which (1) qualify as professional clients within the meaning of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), (2) have requested to be treated as professional clients within the meaning of the MiFID or (3) are authorized to receive such information under any other applicable laws. The value of the investments may fluctuate. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investors may not get back the amount originally invested. Neither Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. nor any of its affiliates guarantees the performance or the future returns of any investments. If the currency in which the past performance is displayed differs from the currency of the country in which you reside, then you should be aware that due to exchange rate fluctuations the performance shown may increase or decrease if converted into your local currency.
In the UK, Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. (“ROBECO”) only markets its funds to institutional clients and professional investors. Private investors seeking information about ROBECO should visit our corporate website www.robeco.com or contact their financial adviser. ROBECO will not be liable for any damages or losses suffered by private investors accessing these areas.
In the UK, ROBECO Funds has marketing approval for the funds listed on this website, all of which are UCITS funds. ROBECO is authorized by the AFM and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority are available from us on request.
Many of the protections provided by the United Kingdom regulatory framework may not apply to investments in ROBECO Funds, including access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Financial Ombudsman Service. No representation, warranty or undertaking is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information on this website.
If you are not an institutional client or professional investor you should therefore not proceed. By proceeding please note that we will be treating you as a professional client for regulatory purposes and you agree to be bound by our terms and conditions.
Institutional investors are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that trends such as population growth, the scarcity of raw materials and globalization have an impact on a company's risks and opportunities.
Under the pressure of regulators and investors, such as participants in pension funds, sustainable investing is slowly but surely evolving from a 'niche' to a general trend. As an illustration: there are simply no longer any Requests for Proposal without questions about ESG (environment, social and governance). And the assets that are managed by organizations that have signed the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) have risen from USD 4 trillion at the introduction in 2006 to USD 34 trillion in 2014. This represents 15% of global assets available for investment. In addition, the signatories of the PRI have to comply with increasingly strict requirements.
There is general consensus now on the fact that sustainable investing in not simply a hype that is going to blow over. Although most institutional investors no longer regard this as a 'green' or 'ethical' strategy, there are still a large number of interpretations and implementations, varying from excluding weapons manufacturers to a way to manage long-term risks. Robeco helps pension funds to develop their convictions, ambitions and policy in the field of sustainability. In addition, we implement this policy by integrating sustainable investing in the existing investment policy or by offering voting and engagement services. We can also screen portfolios on sustainability and provide a detailed report on this.
'There is general consensus now on the fact that sustainable investing in not simply a hype that is going to blow over'
Robeco applies complete integration of ESG factors in all credit strategies. Besides a company's competitive position, strategy, financial position and structure, ESG is one of the five pillars of the credit analysis. We do this because we are convinced that ESG factors provide additional relevant information so that we are better able to analyze a company and to limit the downward risk of investment portfolios. The weight of the ESG pillar in the total analysis depends on how financially material this is. There are a large number of ESG indicators for each company and we only analyze the ESG aspects that are the most relevant for the company's financial position and profitability.
The Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), or the sustainability scores of RobecoSAM, Robeco’s sustainable investing subsidiary, is based on surveys held among approximately 2800 companies and plays an important role in the credit process. These scores are discussed by the credit team with the specialized RobecoSAM sustainability analysts. We mainly focus on negative elements such as weak spots in the corporate governance or in the environmental policy. In addition, we supplement our research with other sources that can expose even more risks. For example, we scan the media to see if the company is involved in legal proceedings or settlements. After all, the amounts involved in issues like this can have a substantial impact on the company's financial position.
At Robeco, we look at ESG from a financial perspective. Return is the most important issue for us. It is a myth that ESG integration is at the expense of return. Many questions in RobecoSAM's CSA concern financially material issues such as governance, risk management, personnel policy and other factors that ultimately also affect a company’s profitability. ESG analysis enables us to take better informed decisions and to pick up risk signals in an early stage. This way, we are able to avoid the losers.
'It is a myth that ESG integration is at the expense of return'
And we go a step further than just analysis. A team of engagement specialists enters into an active dialog - engagement - with selected companies about financially important themes that are determined in consultation with portfolio managers, investment analysts and sustainability analysts. That this not only takes place for equities but also for credits is unique. We encourage companies to take concrete steps to improve their sustainability, as this also has a positive effect on their creditworthiness.
An example is our engagement with the Brazilian energy company Petrobras. Petrobras subsidizes gas prices by purchasing at the market price and selling under the market price. As a result, the company has a large influence on the inflation rate. The chairman of the board of Petrobras is also the Brazilian Minister of Finance and therefore the company's independence is doubtful. Together with a number of institutional investors and in cooperation with our credit analysts, our engagement analysts proposed two independent members of the Board. This proposal was approved by the shareholders, which has resulted in a considerable improvement in the company's corporate governance.
It is exactly because we believe in a constructive dialog that we only exclude companies if there is no other option, for example, if they structurally violate the principles of the UN Global Compact or manufacture controversial weapons. The most important objection to exclusions – especially exclusions on the basis of conduct – is that as an investor you then deny yourself the opportunity to exert a positive influence on the operations of the company in question.
'A company that has an answer to today's challenges in the field of the environment, people and good governance, is more attractive for credit investors'
We believe in long-term relationships with companies – a positive approach in which we try to convince a company that improvement is also in its own interest. Moreover, we are convinced that a company that has an answer to today's challenges in the field of the environment, society and good governance, offers better prospects and entails fewer risks and is therefore more attractive for credit investors.