Amundi announced a three-year responsible investment action plan in October 2018 that will see environment, social and governance (ESG) criteria integrated across its 1.4 trillion euros(1) of funds. Responsible investing has always been one of Amundi’s founding principles. The firm has rated the performance of 5,500 issuers on a range of ESG criteria.
In addition, Amundi’s investments in the social and solidarity economy – companies that provide goods and services meeting the needs of a large number of communities – will reach 500 million euros by the end of 2021, up from 200 million euros currently. “These moves are in response to investor demand which Amundi views as a fundamental shift in asset management,” says Laurence Laplane-Rigal, Head of Social Impact Investing at Amundi.
“Today, the challenge is to continue financing social initiatives by promoting the development of profitable social enterprises based on business models that can be sustained over a long period of time,” she explains. “Social impact investing is designed to finance the social and solidarity economy over the long term by creating a direct link between savers and investors looking for social values in their investments, and social enterprises needing to raise capital. It is a shared objective: contributing to the common good.”
While providing funds to the social and solidarity economy remains a relatively small part of Amundi’s business, the asset manager believes that investing in unlisted companies is the easiest way to make an impact. These companies help meet people’s basic needs – a home, a job, food, clean water, adequate hygiene and sanitation facilities – and recognise the importance of environmental concerns and gender equality in building the economy of the future. “We focus on small companies that are moving to the next stage of their development,” Ms. Laplane-Rigal says.
Amundi first developed its social solidarity funds five years ago and aligns its investments with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that guide environmental and social development priorities until 2030. “We have tried to feed the aims of the SDGs into our funds, it helps to frame and explain their objectives to people. But we have to remember that they were set up for governments, not for investors,” Ms. Laplane-Rigal says.
To ensure financial and societal value, the investment universe covers both equity and debt and all SDGs themes. According to Ms. Laplane-Rigal, the investment process comprises three steps.
“First, we conduct a triple analysis: we assess at the same time financial, ESG and impact metrics of the companies. Second, our Impact Committee scans the companies, and gives the green light to integrate our social impact funds once assessment is complete,” she says.
“Last but not least, we offer our clients regular meetings. We are thoroughly engaged over the long term, with a high focus on impact measurement, reporting and exit routes to produce maximum social and financial returns,” she adds.
More information on www.amundi.com/int/ESG.
Written by Mike Scott for Bloomberg Media Studios. Originally published on Bloomberg.com.
This document is not intended for citizens or residents of the United States of America or to any «U.S. Person», as this term is defined in SEC Regulation S under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933.
Amundi accepts no liability whatsoever, whether direct or indirect, that may arise from the use of information contained in this material. Amundi can in no way be held responsible for any decision or investment made on the basis of information contained in this material. The information contained in this document shall not be copied, reproduced, modified, translated or distributed without the prior written approval of Amundi, to any third person or entity in any country or jurisdiction which would subject Amundi or any of “the Funds”, to any registration requirements within these jurisdictions or where it might be considered as unlawful. Accordingly, this material is for distribution solely in jurisdictions where permitted and to persons who may receive it without breaching applicable legal or regulatory requirements.
The information contained in this document is deemed accurate as at 30 April 2019. Data, opinions and estimates may be changed without notice.
Document issued by Amundi Asset Management, a French “société par actions simplifiée”- SAS with capital of 1 086 262 605 euros - Portfolio Management Company approved by the AMF under number GP 04000036 – Registered office: 90 boulevard Pasteur – 75015 Paris – France – 437 574 452 RCS Paris – www.amundi.com
(1) Source: Amundi figures as of June 30, 2018