Stockholm (NordSIP) – According H&K Responsible Investment Brand Index 2019, two Swedish asset managers rank within the top ten responsible investment brands in the world: Swedbank Asset Management (4) and Nordea Investment Management (7).
Jean-François Hirschel and Markus Kramer are two individuals behind this index. Herschel is the founder and CEO of H-IDEAS, a company which aims at re-establishing trust in the financial world. His professional expertise lies in strategically positioning financial services companies at brand and product level. Kramer is a Partner at Brand Affairs, a specialist consultancy with expertise in strategic positioning and brand building. The portfolio of brands he has worked with includes companies such as Aston Martin, Harley-Davidson and many more.
“For the first time this year, we looked at a value system and found that 97 managers (44%) actually express a value system, of which 50 achieve an above-average qualitative assessment of said value system. Here again, there is a “but”: only 28 of these, or 13% of the total sample, show some form of societal reflection through their value system”, says Hirschel.
The two Swedish asset managers join Axa IM (1), Hermes IM (2), Candrian (3), Ostrum AM (5), Mirova (6), Degroof Petercam AM (8), Robeco (9) and Sajsa Beslik’s Bank J. Safra Sarasin (10).
The report describes asset managers performance along two perpendicular axes of commitment to responsible investment and their efforts in promoting responsible investment in their brand. Companies are categorised as Laggards, Traditionalists, Avant-Gardists and Aspirants. These asset managers were ranked the top ten out of 220 European asset managers analysed for their ability to build responsible investment approaches into their brands.
However, the report sheds an embarrassing light on the slow progress made by the asset management community as a whole.
While the number of Avant-Gardists increased by 2% from last year, Laggards increased by 14% at the expense of the Traditionalists, which decreased by 12%. “While public and regulatory pressure and a clear exposure to media is on the rise, there is no apparent traction yet in how asset managers connect their RI actions to their brand, and more importantly, to a greater social good – i.e. their purpose,” Kramer comments.