Global asset manager ranking
This year’s main research project undertaken by ShareAction AODP will explore how the world’s largest asset managers approach responsible investment issues in their investment processes, decision-making and their engagement with companies. It will aim to promote a deeper understanding among regulators, clients of asset managing companies and civil society of how ESG factors are integrated within investment practices, as well as underpin ShareAction’s efforts to drive progress through the investment industry.
While AODP continues to build on its well-established track record of monitoring climate-related investment practices and disclosure within the investment industry, it is now also setting out an ambitious plan for expanding the thematic scope of its work. As the climate crisis continues to rise up the global investor agenda, we aim to look beyond climate change to other pressing challenges which have not gained similar traction in the industry so far, such as biodiversity loss and human and labour rights. The urgency of the environmental crisis and the need for a just transition require that the global investment sector mobilises its power to drive change in the face of an unprecedented degradation of ecosystems and the ongoing violations of social justice and human rights.
Incorporating these issues in our 2019 survey allows our work to become more closely aligned in its objectives with ShareAction’s strategic goals of holding major financial actors fully accountable and ensuring they step up to the challenge of building a fair and just society while acting within safe ecological limits. Extensive and diversified in scope and global in its outreach, the ShareAction AODP 2019 asset manager survey will be the first of its kind internationally.
Where we are now
We have invited 75 of the most influential asset management companies worldwide to participate in this year’s survey. In the asset manager selection process, we drew on IPE’s (Investment & Pensions Europe) listing of Top 400 Asset Managers 2018, basing the choice on the size of assets under management, viewed as an indicator of influence and potential impact, and balanced it against regional concentration to ensure global coverage across all continents. The questionnaire is fully aligned with TCFD recommendations for the sector, which have also been mapped onto the two new sections of the survey – human and labour rights and biodiversity. Asset managers who do not participate in the survey will have their response populated based on publicly available information. Based on survey data we will create a research report that analyses the performance of the industry as a whole, discussing aggregate areas of focus, industry trends and best practices. We will score and rank asset managers overall, whilst also providing a breakdown of performance across the four themes the survey covers: Responsible investment governance, climate change, human rights, and biodiversity loss. We are planning to publish the full report in February 2020.
Best practice report
Following on from ShareAction AODP’s 2018 global climate index of insurance companies, we have now conducted in-depth interviews with 14 insurers in nine jurisdictions recognised as being active in managing climate-related risks and opportunities. Our discussions covered a range of themes including the application of the TCFD framework, developing climate-aligned insurance products, education with clients and communities, company engagement, investment strategies, barriers, and key industry partnerships and collaborations. The guide will feature key common themes across underwriting, investing, and holistic risk management that will be accompanied by case studies to provide supporting evidence and outline practical examples. With the release of the best practice report we hope to create a practical resource for insurers at all stages of their climate strategy journeys by identifying practical steps that can be taken to successfully improve their strategic responses. The leading practice report will be published in time for the Insurance & Climate Risk Americas event in New York on September 16.