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PRI reporting framework 2019

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ESG incorporation in actively managed fixed income

Implementation processes

FI 01. Incorporation strategies applied

Indicate (1) Which ESG incorporation strategy and/or combination of strategies you apply to your actively managed fixed income investments; and (2) The proportion (+/- 5%) of your total actively managed fixed income investments each strategy applies to.
SSA
90 Screening alone
0 Thematic alone
0 Integration alone
10 Screening + integration strategies
0 Thematic + integration strategies
0 Screening + thematic strategies
0 All three strategies combined
0 No incorporation strategies applied
100%
Corporate (non-financial)
0 Screening alone
0 Thematic alone
0 Integration alone
100 Screening + integration strategies
0 Thematic + integration strategies
0 Screening + thematic strategies
0 All three strategies combined
0 No incorporation strategies applied
100%

01.2. Describe your reasons for choosing a particular ESG incorporation strategy and how combinations of strategies are used.

SSA: We use negative screening based on UN PRI principals and European sovereign bonds investments we rank the countries by looking at several governance indicators. Only the top 25% ranking countries are eligible for inclusion. We take into account Governance data from the World Bank Worldwide Governance Index.

EMD: We use negative screening based on UN PRI principals and ESG criteria (based on a set of ESG indices such as ND-GAIN, Human Development Index, WB Gov indicators etc., which are updated yearly) to provide a minimum level of ESG standards in the portfolio. This results in excluding around 50% of the amount of countries.

When we’ve established the investable universe, we do a deep-dive in each country that we are allowed to invest in and we take into account data that covers E, S and G. The analysis done is updated regularly and consists indicators like United Nations Human Development Index, World Bank Worldwide Governance Index, Heritage Index of Economic Freedom, World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index, environmental data to analyze countries.

Credits, see FI 01.3

01.3. Additional information [Optional].

Apart from a company specific ESG paragraph, we construct specific ESG sector reports for sector which are most sensitive to these factors, such as Utilities, Climate, Energy and Tobacco. In these sector ESG reports, we explain what subsectors/group of companies are preferred from a risk perspective, which serves as an important input factor for our bottom-up company analysis.

We use negative screening based on UN PRI principals and on specific ESG risks which we have identified on a sector basis for sectors which are most prone to those risks. We use a positive screening in instrument selection (green bonds). Subsequently, we (analyst is in the lead, but portfolio managers are also involved) perform a downside risk analysis which is most important to bondholders. Risks and opportunities with respect to environmental, social and governance issues are explicitly taken into account and fully integrated in our analysis. As it could have impact on credit quality or even threaten the viability of a company's business model. Thematic is used when all companies within a sector are heavily exposed to a certain trend and therefore the risk is more systemic.


 


FI 02. ESG issues and issuer research (Private)


FI 03. Processes to ensure analysis is robust

03.1. Indicate how you ensure that your ESG research process is robust:

specify description

          Discuss with other asset managers key ESG challenges/how to leverage our combined knowledge; - organize and participate in internal Education sessions regarding specific ESG themes.
        

03.2. Describe how your ESG information or analysis is shared among your investment team.

          We keep track of our ESG activities, discuss the progress on climate issues from the cross-asset Climate Task Force.
        

03.3. Additional information. [Optional]

SSA: Our investable universe is determined by either positive (Rates) or negative (EMD) screening. After the investable universe is determined we use multiple ESG indicators and multiple providers of ESG research to determine where to most efficiently invest the money for our clients. As such ESG is an integral part of our investment decision/process and can take on different forms depending on the country at hand. To determine that ESG research is robust we use different providers for similar ESG indicators to check for consistency. We participate in country visits to determine if the 'on the ground' situation is reflected in the reported ESG criteria.

Credits: our investable universe is determined by negative screening. Subsequently, we use various ESG indicators, depending on sector and issuer specific characteristics and use various ESG sources and use recent ESG specific news flow for determining the most imminent issues. We also compare ESG performance within heterogeneous sectors and assess whether or not we see risks for credit quality and if so when (short or long term) this could materialize. Our inhouse ESG analyst researches and collects raw data from numerous sources to create our own ESG database of issuers.


(A) Implementation: Screening

FI 04. Types of screening applied

04.1. Indicate the type of screening you conduct.

Select all that apply
SSA
Corporate (non-financial)
Negative/exclusionary screening
Positive/best-in-class screening
Norms-based screening

04.2. Describe your approach to screening for internally managed active fixed income

SSA: In European sovereign bonds investments we rank the countries by looking at several governance indicators. Only the top 25% ranking countries are eligible for inclusion. We take into account Governance data from the World Bank Worldwide Governance Index.
EMD: We use negative screening based on UN PRI principals and ESG criteria (based on a set of ESG indices such as ND-GAIN, HDI etc., which are updated yearly) to provide a minimum level of ESG standards in the portfolio. This results in excluding around 50% of the amount of countries.

EMD: Norms-based screening is done via Global Compact Violators an

Corporates (Fin and nonFins), we use an exclusion list for negative screening. As of 2017 Emerging market Corporates are excluded due to concerns on Governance. The exclusion criteria are reviewed on a quarterly basis and/or if a material ESG risk materializes. Furthermore, for sectors with high ESG risks, we arrive at a preference for various subsectors or group of companies and use positive/best-in-class screening. In terms of norm-based screening, we analyze each corporate that is part of our investable universe and we require certain minimum standards regarding environment, social and governance, disclosure and business practice.

 

04.3. Additional information. [Optional]


FI 05. Examples of ESG factors in screening process (Private)


FI 06. Screening - ensuring criteria are met

06.1. Indicate which systems your organisation has to ensure that fund screening criteria are not breached in fixed income investments.

Type of screening
Checks
Negative/exclusionary screening?
Positive/best-in-class screening
Norms-based screening

06.2. Additional information. [Optional]

Our benchmarks are customised to include our negative or positive screening criteria which are updated yearly. Every quarter our excluded companies are updated. Our compliance department monitors daily whether our mandates requirements are met (which includes restrictions on positive and negative screening on ESG). In addition our systems prevents our portfolio managers from investing outside their investable universe.


(C) Implementation: Integration

FI 10. Integration overview

10.1. Describe your approach to integrating ESG into traditional financial analysis.

SSA (EMD): All countries we invest in are analyzed bottom-up. We take into account Environmental (for example the effect of Climate Change on the country), Social (for example poverty indicators, education, healthcare, inequality) and Governance (for example corruption, rule of law, government effectiveness etc). In order to analyze the countries we use different data sources as well as visit the country in order to build a complete picture. We dedicate a specific part of our country report to ESG analysis. Concerns/opportunities on ESG can result in an underweight, neutral or overweight recommendation. Last year we had an UW on Mozambique on concerns about governance, Mozambique decided to default on their debt. Databases we use take into account data that covers E, S and/or G, like United Nations Human Development Index, World Bank Worldwide Governance Index, Heritage Index of Economic Freedom, World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index, World Bank Dependency Ratio, MSCI environmental data.

Within Corporates (Fin and non-Fins), we fully integrate ESG in our bottom-up credit analysis (100% of our investable universe) as these can translate into higher credit risk by weakening a company's business profile and/or financial profile. Furthermore, we conduct a separate ESG analysis on a sector level (or more top-down) for “high profile” or ESG sensitive sectors and arrive at a ranking for subsectors/groups of companies based on our ESG risk assessment. Each sector analyst assesses the key ESG risks which are separately reported in the credit analysis and weighed in the investment recommendation (UW, Neutral or OW). Apart from using external research providers, company data, our own ESG score card, analysts also consult the internal Responsible Investment & Governance team if more information is required regarding companies we actively engage with, with regard to specific themes (Climate, Tax principles, Social eg) or to flag our worries regarding a specific company.

10.2. Describe how your ESG integration approach is adapted to each of the different types of fixed income you invest in.

SSA

All countries we invest in are analyzed bottom-up. We take into account Environmental (for example the effect of Climate Change on the country), Social (for example poverty indicators, eduction, healthcare, inequality) and Governance (for example corruption, rule of law, government effectiveness etc). In order to analyze the countries we use different data sources as well as visit the country in order to build a complete picture. We dedicate a specific part of our country report to ESG analysis. Concerns/opportunities on ESG can result in an underweight, neutral or overweight recommendation. Last year we had an UW on Mozambique on concerns about governance, Mozambique decided to default on their debt. Databases we use take into account data that covers E, S and/or G, like United Nations Human Development Index, World Bank Worldwide Governance Index, Heritage Index of Economic Freedom, World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index, World Bank Dependency Ratio, MSCI environmental data.

 

Corporate (non-financial)

In Corporates (Fin and Non Fins), the weight/importance of certain ESG factors may vary by sector and/or company depending on our risk assessment on the company's credit quality. One sector where ESG risks are much more explicit (and could potentially be a risk for the existence of the company) is the utilities sector. Therefore the weight/importance of ESG factors should be much higher versus various other sectors. We take the ESG factors/weights and scores from MSCI as a starting point, but prioritize, add or exclude ESG factors and/or scores. Examples of Environmental issues comprise carbon intensity (total value chain approach, thus including suppliers as well), Water & Energy efficiency, Recycling, Renewable energy use (utilities, responsible sourcing (palm oil, agriculture); Examples of Social factors include privacy & Data protection, Product Safety and accessibility, Responsible marketing, Nutritional benefits, Process/Production Safety (Production related sectors like Healthcare, Food & Beverage, Industrials, Chemicals, Oil&Gas. It comprises the occurance of Injuries, risk of contamination, HACCP certificate, recalls). Labor standards can be particularly an issue in Retail, Personal & Household goods; Examples of Governance factors (all sectors) comprise data disclosure and transparency, shareholder structure, Controversies/Fraud, consistency with regard to strategy.

10.3. Additional information [OPTIONAL]


FI 11. Integration - ESG information in investment processes

11.1. Indicate how ESG information is typically used as part of your investment process.

Select all that apply
SSA
Corporate (non-financial)
ESG analysis is integrated into fundamental analysis
ESG analysis is used to adjust the internal credit assessments of issuers.
ESG analysis is used to adjust forecasted financials and future cash flow estimates.
ESG analysis impacts the ranking of an issuer relative to a chosen peer group.
An issuer's ESG bond spreads and its relative value versus its sector peers are analysed to find out if all risks are priced in.
The impact of ESG analysis on bonds of an issuer with different durations/maturities are analysed.
Sensitivity analysis and scenario analysis are applied to valuation models to compare the difference between base-case and ESG-integrated security valuation.
ESG analysis is integrated into portfolio weighting decisions.
Companies, sectors, countries and currency and monitored for changes in ESG exposure and for breaches of risk limits.
The ESG profile of portfolios is examined for securities with high ESG risks and assessed relative to the ESG profile of a benchmark.
Other, specify

11.2. Additional information [OPTIONAL]

Corporates (Fin and non-Fins) and SSA: ESG factors are explicitly discussed and assessed in our bottom-up fundamental analysis. If we see more risk on a longer horizon, we express this by limiting exposure to shorter duration. Furthermore, if we become less comfortable about certain ESG risks, we actively engage with our RI team and/or the company involved. ESG, climate risk and Green Bonds are recurring themes in our team meetings as well. Green Bonds are preferred over regular bonds when the risk/return trade off is equal or better. For SSA: sensitivity and scenario analyses are applied, however the specific impact on valuation is not fully attributable. 


FI 12. Integration - E,S and G issues reviewed

12.1. Indicate the extent to which ESG issues are reviewed in your integration process.

Environment
Social
Governance
SSA

Environmental

Social

Governance

Corporate (non-financial)

Environmental

Social

Governance

12.2. Please provide more detail on how you review E, S and/or G factors in your integration process.

SSA

SSA: The ESG opinion on E, S and G from different ESG Indicators will determine our investable universe. Within the investable universe further ESG analysis is systematically used as input for investment decisions.

Corporate (non-financial)

Corporates (Fin and non-Fin): E, S and G are standard elements of our analysis of corporates and is updated regularly, we use it as input into our investment decision.We also distinguish specific ESG trends on a sector basis which is used as input for issuer specific analysis. When material ESG issues arise, a more in depth view is developed. Our inhouse ESG analyst regularly researches ESG issues and risks and obtains raw data to fully understand the ESG performance of different issuers.

12.3. Additional information.[OPTIONAL]


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