This is the first in the series. The Point of No Returns reports complement our other sector specific benchmarks on insurers (Insuring Disaster 2021[i]) and European banks (In Debt to the Planet 2022[ii]).
In this report, we provide the overall rankings and a heatmap of asset managers’ responsible investment performance across five areas: governance, stewardship, climate, biodiversity, and social issues. We also present the most striking trends and patterns in performance.
We found that:
Finding 1: Only four asset managers received an AA or A grade for their approach to responsible investment, while 35% of assessed managers received a D or E grade.
Finding 2: There was a wide variation in performance across the sector, with only a small number of asset managers performing consistently well across all themes.
Finding 3: Some asset managers have shown sharp changes in performance since 2020.
Finding 4: The worst performers in our survey manage a disproportionately large volume of assets and include four of the world’s five largest asset managers.
Finding 5: A passive investment style is not a barrier to having a leading approach to responsible investment.
Finding 6: A focus on specific asset classes is not a barrier to responsible investment performance.
Finding 7: European asset managers lead the way on responsible investment compared to their North American and Asia Pacific peers.
Finding 8: Despite improvements in some areas, biodiversity continues to lag behind other aspects of our benchmark.
Much can and must be done to raise the standards of responsible investment across the asset management industry. Future reports in this series will analyse each of the themes covered in more detail and give examples of leading practice in specific areas.
At the end of this report we provide general recommendations for Asset Managers, Asset Owners, Policy makers and Investment Consultants.