In the context of sustainable investments, Engagement means that the investor tries to convince the management of a company to take action in the fields of social responsibility, environment or transparency. On a national basis, the Erste Asset Management Responsible Investments Team carries out its engagement activities itself, on a global basis the team co-operates with a specialised provider.
ESG is an abbreviation of Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance and refers to sustainability in business.
The Erste Asset Management responsible funds do not invest in sectors or companies that violate certain (exclusion) criteria, e. g. violation of labour regulation, nuclear energy, etc. These criteria include ethical, social and governance risk factors.
In this board, the Erste Asset Management Responsible Investments Team discusses topical issues and current developments, IPOs, etc. with sustainability specialists and financial experts.
An investment universe designates the amount of investable companies and countries. In order to become part of the Erste Asset Management Responsible Investment Universe, companies need to perform above average with regards to sustainability. From this selection the fund manager picks those companies with the best prospects according to their fundamental financial data. The Erste Asset Management Responsible Investment Universe is updated on a monthly basis, which enables quick reaction to changes within the respective companies.
Socially Responsible Investments
An SRI rating agency or SRI research agency analyses and rates the activities of companies according to social, ecological and ethical criteria (e.g. A = best grade to D = worst grade). SRI ratings help investors to assess a company’s exposure to environment and stakeholders. The Erste Asset Management Responsible Investments Team co-operates with several SRI-rating agencies covering different key aspects. In contrast to SRI rating agencies, finance rating agencies (e. g. Moody’s, Fitch, S&P, etc.) focus on companies’ financial data only.
In the context of sustainable investments, voting refers to the exercise of voting rights at shareholder meetings. Possible targets are an increased transparency in management compensation or in case of nominations for the board of directors. Like in its Engagement activities, the Erste Asset Management Responsible Investments Team cooperates with specialised partners in the area of voting.