The success of investments in equities at a.s.r. is determined by our team, our investment beliefs and a specific working process ultimately designed to combine investing sustainably with good returns.
Sustainability in our DNA
We see investing with an eye for sustainability features, or in other words for people, society and the environment, as a basic requirement and not a side issue. With our sustainability tests, we identify risks and opportunities that remain hidden in purely financial analyses. By this we mean that we look not only at ESG ratings, but also, for example, at sustainable accounting, governance, management quality and long-term vision. Our ultimate goal is a win-win situation for society and shareholders. This is in our DNA.
The equity team at a.s.r. asset management manages some 10 billion euros. The team combines experience with the latest academic insights, plus promising talent with a fresh outlook. Unlike other asset managers, the entire equity team is involved in every investment decision. This style of investing, its structure and teamwork, is unique in the Netherlands.
Our investment beliefs rest on four pillars: quality, investing with a sustainable investment strategy, a long-term view and diversification. These are the first criteria that any proposal must meet to ensure that these values are integral to all our investments. Certain sectors are excluded from the outset. After this, we conduct fundamental analysis, testing and make a decision whether or not to include a company in the portfolio.
A company should not only be strong, but also have an outstanding ESG profile. Here we always take a long-term view. We select quality shares with an eye for people, society and the environment as well as a stable long-term return. This means that we do not invest, for example, in companies engaged in weapons, tobacco, gambling and thermal coal. For other investments, we apply threshold values to determine which companies are or are not invested in. This means that we exclude companies that derive a large part of their turnover from electricity generation from coal, nuclear power and oil and gas. We also do not invest in companies or countries that do not feature decent human rights or working conditions. We then actively monitor the companies we have included in our portfolios. We vote at all shareholder meetings in line with our shareholder engagement policy and engage with management when controversies arise, if necessary.