72% of fund managers believe there is a link between a company's ESG performance (environment, social and governance) and total returns for investors, an Aviva Investors survey of global equity and fixed income managers with combined assets under management of circa EUR5trillion shows.
Potentially material factors cited include: the alignment of interest between management and investors in the company; the operational savings that can be achieved by managing companies with a long-term view and including ESG considerations; sector specific reasons – eg. safety performance in mining as key to smooth running of operations; reputation and brand protection, and revenue opportunities for companies with high ESG performance.
84% consider environmental, social and governance factors as part of their investment process and actively vote on holdings. 61% also publicly disclose their voting record.
The survey revealed that a staggering 90% of managers consider ESG issues to be important to clients and consultants, with 79% saying these are likely to be incorporated in all mainstream funds in the future.
However, despite these resounding statement, the survey results showed that 68% of asset managers do not have a board member who is responsible for ESG. Of those who have, only 19% have ESG goals tied to their remuneration. 52% of respondents also aren't signatories to the UN PRI.