Russell Investments achieves highest possible “A+” grade for eight modules of responsible investing practices
World’s top proponent of responsible investing recognises firms leading the charge globally
AUCKLAND, September 26, 2017 – Global asset manager Russell Investments has received the highest possible grade of “A+” in an annual assessment report from the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI) organisation for each of the eight categories on which the firm reports data. This across-the-board glowing assessment covered the firm’s focus on strategy & governance, direct active management, manager selection, manager appointment and manager monitoring. The full report and details on the scoring methodology are available here.
Each year, PRI signatories are required to disclose their responsible investment process through a detailed reporting framework, which is reviewed and assigned a rating. Of the 935 asset managers/signatories assessed this year by the PRI for its strategy & governance category, for example, only about 20% received the A+ ranking.
“We believe a savvy active manager can effectively balance the ongoing need to manage volatility and pursue portfolio growth with environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations”
said Jeff Hussey, global chief investment officer at Russell Investments.
“Helping a client align their investments and values without having a material impact on portfolio returns is a natural by-product of our long-standing proposition to exceed client expectations.”
Hussey added, for example, that Russell Investments has incorporated ESG consideration throughout its investment process, including the incorporation of an ESG ranking system into its external manager research process, which has led to more accurate exposure management of sustainable investment factors for the firm’s clients. Further, each asset class team has an ESG knowledge specialist who is responsible for taking steps to ensure that this ranking process is consistently applied across asset classes. The firm also employs investment specialists within its capital markets research team who are tasked with monitoring ESG trends and their related impact on the overall market. This active research is incorporated into client portfolios, where appropriate, to keep them updated with the latest ESG considerations.
Global Head of Product and Responsible Investment Philip Kim, who heads the Russell Investments Sustainability Council, said, “This A+ assessment from the PRI acknowledges the time and effort that our teams have committed to this increasingly important topic. We consider ESG issues throughout our entire investment process, including manager research, portfolio management as well as proxy voting and engagement. In addition, considering and incorporating ESG-specific strategies, such as our proprietary decarbonisation strategy and ESG tilting methodology, is an important part of our product development process.”
Kim added that the firm will continue to support and promote the PRI principles in its investment process and other sustainable investment initiatives across the investment industry.
Overall, PRI has some 1,750 signatories globally, spanning investment managers, asset owners and service providers, from over 60 countries, representing about US$70 trillion in assets. Established in 2006, its goal is to encourage investors to incorporate sustainability into their decision-making.
Russell Investments has been a PRI signatory since 2009.
About Russell Investments
Russell Investments, a global asset manager, is one of only a few firms that offers actively managed multi-asset portfolios and services that include advice, investments and implementation. Russell Investments stands with institutional investors, financial advisors and individuals working with their advisors—using the firm’s core capabilities that extend across capital market insights, manager research, asset allocation, portfolio implementation and factor exposures— to help each achieve their desired investment outcomes. The firm has NZD$378.6 billion in assets under management (as of 30/6/2017) and works with more than 2,500 institutional clients, independent distribution partners and individual investors globally.
The firm has been a signatory to the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment since 2009 and the Carbon Disclosure Project since 2010. The firm also is a member of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and the Investor Group on Climate Change.
Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Russell Investments operates globally with 21 offices, providing investment services in the world’s major financial centers such as London, Paris, Amsterdam, Sydney, Tokyo, Shanghai, Toronto and New York. For more information about how Russell Investments helps to improve financial security for people, visit russellinvestments.com/nz