Methodology

Scope

This report features 75 of the most influential asset management companies worldwide across 17 countries. We selected managers based on their assets under management (AUM) according to IPE’s 2018 Top 400 Asset Managers List. In order to ensure global coverage across all continents, we balanced AUM against regional concentration. We capped the number of managers from the US at 20 and the number of European asset managers at 40 to allow other regions to be included. We excluded companies that present themselves as holding companies for independent and self-contained asset management subsidiaries.

Number of asset managers and total AUM (US$ trillion) across regions

Survey process

The themes covered in the survey include responsible investment governance, climate change, biodiversity and human and labour rights, a development from previous AODP assessments that focused solely on climate change. The questionnaire was developed with input from external experts and mapped to the structure of the TCFD recommendations for all themes.

We sent the questionnaire to the selected asset managers and 92 per cent (69 out of 75) responded directly. For the remaining eight per cent of asset managers who chose not to participate, we populated their survey response based on publicly available information and provided them the opportunity to review this. The voting data, which formed part of the scoring for the first section of the survey, was partially provided by Proxy Insight and sent to asset managers for verification. We collected information from July to October 2019. The questionnaire consisted of multiple choice and open-ended questions and can be viewed in the appendix of the full report here.

Rating and scoring

Scores were assigned to individual answer options within the survey with some questions having a larger weighting. The weight of individual sections was determined by the sum of the scores assigned to each question in that section. These are reflected below.

Score weightings across sections of the asset manager assessment questionnaire*

* Percentages sum to less than 100 per cent due to rounding

After each asset manager was allocated an absolute score, rating bands were calculated relative to peers based on the number of standard deviations from the mean score. Each participant was assigned a rating applicable to their aggregated score, from AAA through to E grade. This year we did not award any AAA or AA ratings, as no asset managers were found to demonstrate leading practice throughout their entire approach. We will be outlining what AAA looks like in our forthcoming AAA gold standard briefing.

Performance descriptions for rating bands

Note that this is a methodological shift from the ShareAction AODP 2018 assessments of the insurance and pensions industries. As a result, rating bands awarded between these sectors are not directly comparable. We will be rolling out the methodology used in this latest assessment for our future surveys.