GAM recently published its second Sustainability Report, which reflects on how sustainability is increasingly built into the firm’s investment strategies, engagements and corporate culture. GAM Investments’ Stephanie Maier, Global Head of Sustainable and Impact Investment, outlines the firm’s recent progress.
The world is a very different place to 10 years ago and will likely be very different again a decade from now. At GAM we recognise that managing environmental, social and governance issues is critical to thriving in this shifting landscape, and to protecting and enhancing our clients’ financial futures.
Our second standalone Sustainability Report, which was published in February, delves into what GAM achieved on our sustainable investment journey in 2021, from investing in a low-carbon economy, to improving diversity and boosting engagement.
Most notably as part of our commitment to becoming a sustainable investor, we have been building our range of sustainable products. 2021 saw GAM launch two sustainable strategies including our climate bond strategy, one of the first to focus on green bonds issued by European financials, and our sustainable local emerging bond strategy, which uses a benchmark to positively tilt towards sovereigns with higher ESG scores.
To help our clients better understand the ESG profile of their funds, we produced ESG summary reports for 70% of our funds.
Broadening our network
We want to lead by example. We joined asset managers committing to net zero by 2050 or sooner by signing up to Net Zero Asset Managers initiative in July. I am also a member of the global Steering Committee of Climate Action 100+, one of the world’s largest investor collaborations, through which we contributed to encouraging 52% of the 160 highest emitting companies in the world to commit to net zero by 2050.
In 2021, we upped the ante on engagement, voting on 15,000 resolutions and engaging with more than 350 companies on ESG topics. We see it as a vital part of being a responsible investor to use our influence to steer companies towards creating long-term, sustainable value.
We were particularly proud to have been accepted last year as one of the first signatories to the updated UK Stewardship Code and committed to support the stewardship principles outlined in Japan’s Stewardship Code and the Singapore Stewardship Principles for Responsible Investors.
Living our values
We strive to be sustainable in everything we do, and we believe this starts from within. So away from our portfolios we worked throughout the year to improve the diversity, training standards and environmental impact of our own organisation.
In 2021, we increased the proportion of women in our Investment and Wealth Management teams to 29%, supported 19 charities through our corporate sustainability activities, and our employees engaged in over 1360 hours of volunteering activities from reservoir clean ups to supporting schools.
We have chosen to put sustainability at the heart of our business and steadfastly believe that this will help our clients’ capital to prosper in a rapidly changing market. We will continue to build on all this activity throughout 2022.
Read our full sustainability report here.
The information in this document is given for information purposes only and does not qualify as investment advice. Opinions and assessments contained in this document may change and reflect the point of view of GAM in the current economic environment. No liability shall be accepted for the accuracy and completeness of the information. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results or current or future trends. The mentioned financial instruments and case studies are provided for illustrative purposes only and shall not be considered as a direct offering, investment recommendation or investment advice. The securities listed were selected from the universe of securities covered by the portfolio managers to assist the reader in better understanding the themes presented and are not necessarily held by any portfolio or represent any recommendations by the portfolio managers. There is no guarantee that forecasts will be realised.