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SRI Column

Kepler Cheuvreux scoops SRI & sustainability title in Extel survey

August 2014

Independent European financial services firm, Kepler Cheuvreux, reconfirmed its status this July as the leading local broker in Europe in the Thomson Reuters Extel/UKSIF SRI & Sustainability Survey for 2014 and beat off Société Générale (SocGen) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BoAML) - ranked in second and third places respectively - out of 25 firms.

The latest Extel annual survey, which represented the views of over 360 investment professionals from 27 countries (including 179 buy-side firms and 14 brokerage firms/research houses), also placed Kepler Cheuvreux top for Countries and within the Top 10 across eight equity sectors. The result for the leading Pan-European brokerage firm - SRI & Sustainability - mirrored the house’s top showing in 2013.

Laurent Quirin, ceo of Kepler Cheuvreux, described the firm as an “equity power-house that stands shoulder to shoulder with the global brokers” after the awards were handed out at an event hosted by Schroder Investment Management UK in The City. The results themselves were based on a weighted vote that was received from fund managers’ total commissions paid.

With the voting being conducted over a seven-week period from 24 March to 7 May 2014, the contributions were “slightly more extensive” than in previous years according to Steve Kelly, md of Extel at Thomson Reuters. It also makes it the most extensive assessment of socially responsible investing (SRI) in the European investment community.

Other key highlights from this year’s Thomson Reuters Extel/UKSIF Survey revealed that thematic reviews and ideas are the “most critical SRI/ESG research services” as far as buy-side institutions are concerned. Indeed, in excess 80% of those responding rated these as “very important”.

Simon Howard, UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) chief executive, speaking after the Law Commission’s recent view that fiduciaries “should take financially material factors into account” and citing ESG (environmental, community, other societal and corporate governance) elements as an example of those factors, said: “This highlights how SRI and sustainability thinking is relevant to the mainstream. These awards showcase the financial sector’s successful integration of sustainability and ESG across the value chain, from brokers through fund managers to companies.”

Elsewhere in the survey, 34% of asset managers looked for all SRI/ESG research and insights to be integrated into all analyses they receive from brokers; and, sustainability is a growing element in remit and discussions of Investor Relations (IR) teams at companies, with 56% now including it as integral to their IR outreach.

Not to be outdone SocGen ranked as leading brokerage firm for SRI research - up from third in 2013 - with a team comprising Carole Crozat and Yannick Ouaknine based in Paris, Niamh Whooley in London and Rohit Malpani in India. The house beat last year’s winner Kepler Cheuvreux into second and BoAML in third.

BoAML analyst Sarbjit Nahal was voted leading brokerage individual for SRI research from SocGen’s Carole Crozat, while Kepler Cheuvreux emulated its top rank from 2013 as leading brokerage firm for corporate governance research thanks to the house’s Robert Walker ranking as top analyst in the category.

HSBC ranked top broker for integrated research on climate change, with the house’s Zoe Knight top analyst in this segment. Finally, L’Oréal took the spoils for the leading corporate in sustainability communication, followed by Eni in second and Carrefour in third.

Europe | SRI


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