The French champion of asset management wants to increase the offer of active funds intended for individuals taking into account ESG criteria from 25 billion euros today to around 250 billion euros by the end of 2021.

Yves Perrier, the boss of the leading European player in asset management

The French champion of asset management also wants to move up a gear in terms of socially responsible investment. Amundi announced on Monday the launch of a three-year action plan to give “A new scope for its commitments. ”

Integrate environmental, social and governance criteria

“In a liberalized world, the counterpart of freedom is responsibility, declares its managing director, Yves Perrier. This consideration in investment policies is also a guarantee of financial performance as soon as we have a long-term horizon. ”

The leading European asset manager (1.460 billion euros under management as of June 30) claims for the moment only 280 billion euros under management in responsible investment (including 245 billion on behalf of institutions), or 19% of its In progress. The objective by the end of 2021: integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into all management and voting policy.

An incentive approach, more than exclusion

Amundi has chosen to adopt an incentive approach towards companies. A dedicated team of 25 people rates issuers according to ESG criteria, which leads to an overweighting or an underweighting in investment portfolios. “We also exclude companies where more than 25% of turnover is linked to coal”, explains Yves Perrier.

However, the asset manager refuses any dogmatism and, depending on industrial realities, does not refrain from investing in a company even if it does not strictly comply with these criteria. However, the value will then be less weighted in the portfolios. The idea is to encourage companies to take their environmental and social impact into account in their strategies. “We must beware of excessive standardization and accept everyone’s share of responsibility”.

A gigantic construction site

If the approach may seem timid, the site is gigantic. “Some large players appear to have little commitment to SRI compared to the size of their outstandings, but since they manage gigantic outstandings, the slightest initiative can shift the lines”, comments a responsible investment specialist.

In three years, the ESG analysis will influence the management of all the group’s funds as well as the voting policy at general meetings. “All actively managed funds must offer ESG performance superior to their indices or benchmark universes”, details Yves Perrier. Thus, the supply of active funds taking ESG criteria into account should increase from 25 billion euros today to 250 billion euros by the end of 2021. To this will be added the ESG outstandings under passive management, which will have to double to reach at least 70 billion euros, in particular thanks to a new range of SRI ETFs (“Exchange Traded Fund”) based on responsible MSCI indices.

In addition to the generalization of the “best in class” approach, Amundi wants to increase its initiatives related to the environment and social impact from 10 to 20 billion euros, such as low-carbon index funds, the management company joint venture with EDF on energy transition or the green bond fund. “We are also going to strengthen our commitment to the social and solidarity economy. They will go from 200 to 500 million “, points out Yves Perrier.

To note

Amundi has four SRI-labeled funds for a total of less than 1 billion euros