AXA Investment Managers boosts its Responsible Investment (RI) efforts through deeper ESG integration
- Integration of ESG criteria within all the investment platforms
- Significant hires to bolster efforts in central RI team and within investment platforms
- Thematic focus that combines material financial risks with societal impacts
As clients’ demand for ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) accelerates and AXA IM continues its strategic integration of ESG analysis across investment platforms, the global asset manager is moving to the next phase of its commitment to strengthen its Responsible Investment (RI) capabilities.
“Responsible Investment is one of our strategic priorities. Not only because clients are telling us that RI matters to them, but also because we are convinced of the important role finance plays in fostering a society that supports fairness and equity, as well as an environment that can sustain us in the future. Pursuing our ESG integration and further developing our RI offering is part of our investment plan announced in June, and we wish to seize this opportunity to make us better investors for our clients,” said Andrea Rossi, Chief Executive Officer of AXA IM.
Leveraging its two decades of RI experience, AXA IM is integrating ESG analysis into all of its investment platforms, providing fund managers with access to proprietary ESG scores and key performance indicators (KPIs) in their front office tools, as well as additional ESG data and research.
Additionally, RI specialists are progressively being embedded into each investment team to support fund managers incorporate ESG and impact analysis into their investment processes.
“This new step to integrate RI throughout the business will ensure that ESG integration combines the need for common views on thematic engagements, voting and ESG scoring, while bolstering investment teams with detailed ESG corporate analysis. This will lead to increased transparency and clarity for our clients on the ESG footprint of their investments, allowing us to better engage with them and help to direct their funds into those companies that have a positive impact on society,” said Matt Christensen, Global Head of Responsible Investment at AXA IM.
“AXA IM also developed an impact investing approach that goes beyond ESG risk monitoring to encompass companies making positive contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Teams across the business are now even more involved in developing our RI offering to better address our clients’ needs with the objective of reshaping certain strategies as ESG and launching new impact strategies,” added Christensen.
Within AXA IM the RI capabilities are now organized as follows:
A central RI team focusing on thematic research, corporate governance and shareholder engagement as well as on developing quantitative solutions. Climate, human capital and health have been identified as the key thematic priorities of the centralized RI team, and specialists are appointed for each of these three themes. Lise Moret is responsible for the climate change strategy, and Marie Fromaget has recently joined AXA IM as Human Capital & Diversity analyst. In addition to their responsibilities for the green and social bonds, Julien Foll is health analyst and Alice Val is a climate analyst. They will all work with Yo Takatsuki, who is joining AXA IM as Head of ESG of Research and Engagement, effective November 1st.
ESG analytic experts are also embedded in the investment teams to enhance capabilities most relevant to the firm’s key asset classes. Several have already joined AXA IM investment teams: Melina Leprince-Ringuet for Framlington Equities, Shah Khan for Rosenberg Equities, and Rebecca Greenberg and Augustin Monnoyeur for Fixed Income.
ESG integration is a firm-wide approach at AXA IM, encompassing thematic and qualitative ESG analysis, proprietary ESG scoring, analytical solutions and reporting, as well as voting & engagement which all contribute to the investment decisions. In addition, ESG training is in place for all employees.
- As of 30 June 2018. ESG integrated assets are assets which have ESG objectives, defined to fit the clients’ needs. In line with the vast majority of assets managed by AXA IM, these ESG integrated assets also benefit from active stewardship and apply exclusion policies on controversial weapons, coal, non-RSPO palm oil and derivatives on food commodities.
- As of 30 June 2018. “Sustainable Investing” assets include assets for which the eligible universe is defined according to ESG criteria, as well as Impact investing assets. Impact investing focuses on financing businesses and projects that are designed to have intentional, positive and measurable impacts on society while simultaneously delivering financial market returns.
Julien Foll, Health Analyst
Prior to joining AXA IM in 2014, Julien worked as a CSR officer for Société Générale in Romania, before serving as director at CNS, an international cooperation NGO in Montreal, Canada. He then joined AXA IM as a Responsible Investment Analyst in Paris, and is now health analyst in addition to his responsibilities for the green and social bonds. Julien holds a Masters in International Economic Development & Sustainable Development from the Institute of Economics and Business Administration (IAE, Nantes).
Marie Fromaget, Human Capital & Diversity Analyst
Prior to joining AXA IM in 2018, Marie worked as an ESG research analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux. She also has previous experiences in the Sustainable Capital Markets service at BNP Paribas and in the Green Certificates and Carbon Credit sales business. Marie holds a Master in Energy, Finance, Carbon from the University Paris Dauphine as well as a Magistère in International Economics and Finance.
Rebecca Greenberg, ESG/Credit Analyst, Fixed Income
Prior to joining AXA IM in August 2018, Rebecca was an Associate Analyst at Moody’s Investors Service, initially on the Oil & Gas team and most recently on the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) team. She also served in several roles in the Office of the Chief Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Rebecca holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science and Political Economy from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economic Policy and Politics from New York University.
Shah Khan for Rosenberg, ESG Specialist for AXA IM - Rosenberg Equities
Prior to joining AXA IM in 2018 as ESG Analyst, Shah worked as an investment analyst at UMB bank in the USA. He then launched Captain Impact, a community of individuals who are passionate about impact investing, to work on content. Shah holds a Master’s Degree in Corporate Finance and Banking from Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. He also holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Statistics and Business Administration from the University of Missouri, Columbia.
Melina Leprince-Ringuet, ESG Analyst for AXA IM - Framlington Equities
Prior to joining AXA IM in July 2018, Melina was a Sustainable Investment Analyst at Inflection Point Capital Management. She started her career as a Financial Analyst for Hassium Asset Management. Mélina holds a Masters in International Business/Finance from University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and a BA (Hons) in Management and Spanish from Royal Holloway, University of London.
Augustin Monnoyeur, ESG/Credit Analyst, Fixed Income
Prior to joining AXA IM in September 2018, Augustin held Responsible Investment related roles at Cheuvreux (2010) and Aviva Investors (2012). He then joined CreditSights as a Senior Oil & Gas research analyst from 2013 to 2018.
Augustin holds a Master's Degree in Finance from the Paris Dauphine University and a Master's Degree in Environmental Politics and Sustainable Development from the ICP Faculty of Social Sciences and Economics.
Lise Moret, Responsible for the Climate Change Strategy
Prior to joining AXA IM, Lise started her career as Economist/Quantitative Analyst at Banque CPR, before working for Dexia AM as a cross-asset strategist. She then worked as equity strategist in the multi-asset allocation team for Exane BNP Paribas from 2001 to 2007. She joined AXA IM in 2007, as Head of ESG quantitative solutions, then Head of Climate Strategy and Sustainability Standards. Lise holds a degree and a post-graduate diploma in mathematical Economics and Econometrics from the University of Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne. She also holds an MA in Economics from the University of Paris Panthéon Sorbonne and EHESS (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales).
Yo Takatsuki, Head of ESG Research and Engagement
Yo will join AXA IM in November 2018 as Head of ESG Research and Engagement. Prior to this, he spent seven years working as Director, Governance and Sustainable Investment at BMO Global Asset Management. He also has previous experiences as a business journalist for the BBC and as a producer for CNBC and Bloomberg News. Yo holds a MBA from Cass Business School and an undergraduate degree in Geography from the University of Cambridge.
Alice Val, Climate Analyst
Prior to joining AXA IM in 2017 as Responsible Investment analyst, Alice was responsible for an impact study in a microfinance institution in Mexico City, worked as a business developer in a start-up specializing in renewable energies in Amsterdam, and as sustainable finance project officer for the French Ministry of Environment, Energy and the Sea. Alice holds a Master’s Degree in International Economics and Finance from the University Paris Dauphine with a special focus on Climate change, commodities and hydrocarbons economics.