For all issuers under coverage the Robeco credit analysts express a view on the company fundamentals as well as an investment recommendation. This fundamental view is built on five building blocks: business position, strategy, ESG factors, financial position, and structure. In the ESG pillar the analyst considers the impact of key sustainability factors on the credit fundamentals of the issuer. These key ESG factors differ per sector.
As an example, for banks we focus on: corporate governance, risk culture and sustainable banking, and for insurance on corporate governance, risk culture and sustainable insurance. The latter includes business ethics, sustainable investment integration and product governance and sales practices. To form an opinion how banks are positioned on these factors the analyst has multiple sources. An important input is the annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) of RobecoSAM. In this CSA RobecoSAM scores companies based on their ESG efforts. Sub-scores on criteria such as corporate governance, codes of conduct, risk culture, anti-crime policies and measures indicate a lot on how a bank is positioned vis-à-vis these key ESG factors. Other information sources include external ESG data providers (Sustainalytics, Glass Lewis), management meetings, Robeco's ’Active Ownership' (engagement) team, proprietary Google searches, news articles, litigation, sell side research, etc.