AllianceBernstein has the largest number of individuals conducting ESG analysis, with 126 research analysts all considering ESG specifically, while BlackRock has the largest AUM of ESG assets, according to in-depth quantitative research across 15 asset managers managing £18 trillion of assets conducted by Corporate Adviser.
Impax has the second-largest number of ESG research analysts and specialists, with 46 people in its portfolio management and analyst team, all of which conduct proprietary in-house ESG analysis, according to Corporate Adviser’s 2020 ESG and Responsible Investing in DC Pensions report.
Vanguard has 30 specialists in its investment stewardship team, while Aviva Investors has 22 corporate governance and responsible investment professions acts as centre of ESG expertise, including 14 analysts producing internal ESG research.
The research found BlackRock has the largest AUM that filters or screens out stocks on the basis of ESG factors, with £482bn of its £5,310bn of assets filtering or screening. £256bn of SSGA’s £2,400bn AUM adopt an ESG screen or filter, while £176bn of AllianceBernstein’s £481bn do so.
Just over £426m of JPMorgan Asset Management’s £1,523bn assets filters or screens out stocks on the basis of ESG factors, the report shows. LGIM has £93.1m of DC assets that filter or screen out stocks on the basis of ESG factors at 30.9.19. At 30.6.19 it had £86bn of DC assets in total.
BlackRock was the asset manager that declared the highest level of AUM in products that tilt an index on the basis of ESG factors, with £283bn in sustainable index trackers. SSGA was second largest in this area, with £24bn in funds that tilt on ESG. LGIM has £6.6bn tilting an index through its Future World Range, while Aviva Investors has £5.4bn through its My Future Focus Fund.
The research found Aberdeen Standard Investments has 20 people in its central ESG investment teams as well as 50 responsible investment analysts working in specific asset classes.
State Street Global Advisors has 19 full-time employees focusing on ESG, while Schroders have 17, Columbia Threadneedle and LGIM both have 14, and JP Morgan Asset Management and Fidelity both have 10.
The research also found MSCI is the most common source of third-party ESG data, followed by ISS, Bloomberg and Sustainalytics. Data was collected to 30.9.19, unless specified otherwise in the report.
The research found Vanguard exercised the most votes over a 12 month period, voting on 169,000 resolutions, followed by SSGA and LGIM on 109,000 and 51,000 respectively. BlackRock voted at 16,000 meetings while Royal London Asset Management voted on 15,000 resolutions. LGIM had the highest ratio of votes against the board, voting against the board on 74 per cent of occasions.
Of the 15 asset managers covered in the report, Fidelity is the only one that does not have a company-wide climate change policy. None of the asset managers covered has a specific decarbonisation target for AUM.