Like most fund managers, BNP Paribas Asset Management is looking for new ways to put on assets and make money. Equally predictably, it has settled on beefing up the attention it pays to social, environmental, and corporate governance. “It has become crucially important,” says the French bank, “to take these non-financial criteria into account when making a careful assessment of the opportunities and risks that companies face.”
BNP Paribas Asset Management has set up a dedicated socially responsible research unit, headed by Eric Borremans. It will evaluate companies according to a set of proprietary criteria. BNP Paribas Asset Management has also made additional resources available to the unit by entering into two new partnerships, with Deminor and Innovest. In addition to the existing partnership with Vigeo (formerly Arese), these agreements enable BNP Paribas Asset Management to consolidate its sources of socially responsible analysis in the fields of corporate governance and respect for the environment while at the same time broadening the geographic coverage of research.
The internationally renowned firm Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, which has recently established a presence in France, has developed sophisticated analysis models (EcoValue’21 and Intangible Value Assessment) that link companies’ environmental and social performance to their stock market value. These models represent a practical way of factoring in key aspects of sustainable development such as as climate change, emerging markets, and human capital in the analysis of various industry sectors.
Deminor Rating, Europe’s leading corporate governance rating agency, has been analyzing and rating the practices of the Eurotop 300 companies since 1997 on the basis of four indicators: structure and functioning of the board of directors, transparency of information, shareholder rights and duties, and measures taken to prevent hostile takeovers.