LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SquareWell Partners, the independent shareholder advisory firm, releases a study on the world’s largest 50 asset managers, managing collectively $50.6 trillion in assets, focusing on their integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in investment decisions across different asset classes, stewardship activities, and activism. Some highlights from the study include:
- One-third of the asset managers clearly disclose their approach to integrating ESG factors into fixed income;
- 64% of the asset managers are signatories to the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD);
- Close to 80% of the asset managers engage with portfolio companies on ESG issues;
- 68% of the asset managers use two or more ESG research and data providers;
- Only 20% of the asset managers have a low receptivity to activist demands; and
- A quarter of the asset managers have gone public with their discontent at portfolio companies since January 2018.
The dramatic increase in prominence of ESG issues in the capital markets presents a challenge for companies to know how each investor considers ESG factors within its investment process and how much it impacts its investment decisions. Increased stewardship activities is also reshaping the relationships between companies and their shareholders with traditional investors not only opposing resolutions or supporting activist hedge funds, but also acting like activists themselves if need be. Directors are more and more held responsible for their decisions, from executive pay to succession planning but also for their oversight of ESG issues such as climate change.
Listed companies operate in an increasingly complex ecosystem. To meet the demands of its global corporate client base, SquareWell has further strengthened its advisory team with the addition of Edouard Dubois as a partner joining from BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager. At BlackRock for six years, most recently as a Director in the investment stewardship team, Edouard led the engagement activities with board members and senior executives on a range of strategic topics, including on ESG issues as well as contested situations. Prior to joining BlackRock, Edouard worked at BNP Paribas Asset Management as a responsible investment analyst and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS).
Edouard will assist SquareWell’s corporate clients to integrate their ESG practices and strategy into their investment case to attract and retain investors. He will also advise companies on how best to target and tailor their engagements with shareholder teams, whether it be portfolio managers, responsible investment or stewardship teams.
Edouard commented that “as corporations face mounting and diverging demands from their shareholders, SquareWell has created its own growing niche through its unique business model and proprietary analytics to navigate through this changing environment.” Edouard added that “failure to effectively communicate a long-term strategy that incorporates ESG considerations will undoubtedly make a company vulnerable.”
Notes for Editors:
About SquareWell Partners
SquareWell is a conflict-free shareholder advisory firm that monitors investor behavior and preferences to support companies to “focus on what matters” and proactively manage their shareholder relationships. Our investor-focused advice, grounded in precedent and facts, facilitates a strategic and tactical approach to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and help gain shareholder support for novel and nuanced ESG strategies.
SquareWell, with offices in London and Paris, serves European and North American companies, as well as those in Asia Pacific, including Japan.