Equities: impact portfolio

Equities: impact portfolio

14 September 2023 | 4 min. readingtime

a.s.r. Nederland has an ambition to increase the number of impact investments for its own book to 4.5 billion by 2024. 'Impact investing' is distinguished by the intention to generate positive impact on a sustainable future for people and planet in addition to a market-based financial return.

Impact Portfolio

We select companies whose products, services, technology or infrastructure make a positive contribution to solving one or more social and environmental problems. Among other things, this is achieved by investing in stocks that realise a measurable and positive environmental and social impact and therefore qualify as sustainable investments. The equity team at a.s.r. asset management has already been successfully working on the impact portfolio since 2019. This is why impact investing has now been made available to customers with the new ASR Wereldwijd Impact Aandelen Fonds.

ASR Wereldwijd Impact Aandelen Fonds

Companies that achieve a measurable and positive environmental and social impact  are selected for the AWIAF. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are used to determine the categories of sustainable goals - to which the companies that are part of AWIAF must contribute. These are 17 goals set by the United Nations to achieve a sustainable world for all by 2030.

For the fund, we invest in companies that address important social or environmental issues, while aiming for healthy financial returns on investments. The fund includes companies that have a demonstrable positive impact on people, the environment and society. These companies all have a specific sustainability objective and were finally included in the fund after very strict and detailed selection. They are companies that can substantiate their positive impact with data and insight into the business and that can be shown not to harm an environmental or social objective.

Up to 30 such listed companies will be included in the AWIAF. This low number is deliberate, as these companies are relatively scarce and no concessions are made with respect to impact. The impact strategy is offered both as a fund and as a discretionary mandate for institutional investors.

Self-developed test on impact criteria

The definitions of both sustainable investment and impact investment are not yet complete. These concepts will also be further defined by legislation and/or market developments in the future. Both the market and the EU legislator are working on an objective test, but until this is in place, there will be a possibility of deception. We have accordingly taken the lead with a self-developed objective test for impact for our impact strategy, which has been in place for a few years now. We have used the Impact Investing Market Map of the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investing (UN PRI) for our impact test. We look not only at ESG ratings, but also, for example, at sustainable accounting, governance, management quality and long-term vision. In addition, we think a serious revenue model is important. A model that delivers good long-term returns. And benefits the planet and society at the same time.

Article 9 qualification

The SFDR is a European regulation, which aims to provide greater transparency on how financial parties incorporate sustainability risks and opportunities into their investment decisions and investment products. Sustainability is a binding and mandatory part of the investment process and the investment fund must consist for the most part of so-called sustainable investments. We have qualified this fund as an Article 9 fund based on the requirements of the SFDR.

Sustainable investments are investments in an economic activity that contributes to the achievement of an environmental objective (E) or the achievement of a social objective (S), without seriously compromising other environmental or social objectives and the investee companies follow good governance practices (G).  Impact investment is a category of sustainable investment, and must involve the choice of a clearly defined asset class.

  • Investment strategies


This is an image of Nico Rieske.

Nico Rieske

Head of equities

Nico is responsible for equity management.

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