Deutsche AM ranked worst in Europe for responsible credentials

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Deutsche Asset Management has been ranked among the worst asset managers in Europe with regard to responsible investment performance and transparency.

KBC Asset Management, Union Investment, SEB and BBVA Asset Management respectively held the other bottom spots on the list, compiled by ShareAction.

The investment industry watchdog has revealed “striking variation” among the largest asset managers in Europe, in spite of nearly all of them signing up to the UN-sponsored Principles of Responsible Investment.

ShareAction chief exective Catherine Howarth says: “Our research exposes a huge gulf in performance between the best and worst firms.

“This places a big responsibility on pension funds and other institutional clients to undertake rigorous due diligence on the factors assessed in this survey, all of which have a bearing on the interests of beneficiaries such as pension savers.

Scored out of a possible 90 points, Schroders topped the list with 82 points, while Robeco Group followed with 81.

Aviva Investors was third with 80 points, and fourth and fifth place were held by Amundi, with 77.5 and Standard Life Investments, which scored 76.5.

ShareAction ranked the top 40 groups by assets under management, responsible for managing over €21 trn (£18trn) of assets.

The groups were assessed on transparency, including the accessibility of information on voting and engagement with investee companies, conflicts of interest policies and disclosure of fees and charges.

Further, the managers were sent a questionnaire to outline how their investment process incorporates environmental, social and governance factors yet only 31 completed the survey.

Howarth adds: “The leaders in this year’s report should be applauded for their stewardship of client assets as well as for the quality of information disclosed on investment costs, handling of conflicts of interest, and real-world impacts of responsible investment practice.

“Transparency in the asset management sector is critical to restoring public trust in an industry that invests the savings of millions of European citizens.”