Nordea Asset Management: Best ESG Investment Process Europe 2015

Millions of customers entrust Nordea Asset Management not only with the management of their investments, but also with ensuring that the funds are invested in a responsible fashion. Investors increasingly demand their funds be used in ways that promote the common good while still delivering stellar returns. Instead of considering these demands a conundrum, Nordea Asset Management has developed a winning investment formula that incorporates the full spectrum of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) parameters in all actively managed fund products.

Nordea Asset Management is part of Nordea Bank AB, the largest financial services group in the Nordic Region that serves well over 11 million private customers and more than 700,000 corporate clients.

The bank’s asset management division is currently engaged in taking the concept of Responsible Investing (RI) to the next level by making sure that a thorough analysis of ESG values is carried out before funds are committed. Thus, ESG is no longer an add-on to the investment process, but has been relocated to its very basis.

Nordea Asset Management considers the application of ESG values as a primary way to mitigate risk and maximise opportunity. As such, ESG helps improve the performance of the bank’s comprehensive palette of investment products.

Nordea Asset Management has also gained a formidable reputation for its shareholder activism. Companies in which the bank has a stake are continuously monitored on their ESG performance. Should issues occur, the bank proactively offers solutions, encourages the adoption of improved corporate processes, and may even lend a helping hand in addressing potentially problematic situations.

Nordea Asset Management does not shirk from tackling dodgy corporate processes head-on. The asset manager has engaged with a number of companies in the extractive and infrastructure sectors – both often plagued by allegations of human rights violations and featuring an outsized environmental footprint – in order to gain a better understanding of prevailing practices, and their origins, with a view to offering ready-made innovative solutions that promise improved performance and compliance.

The CFI.co judging panel is again impressed by the breadth of Nordea Asset Management’s approach to the implementation of ESG-driven investment models. The asset manager has consistently been at the forefront or responsible investing and has regularly taken the lead, showing the way towards a more sustainable way of managing money and obtaining consistently healthy returns. For the second year running, the judges are unanimous in handing Nordea Asset Management the Best ESG Investment Process Europe Award.