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Rating:Neuberger, Nuveen, Payden, and SSGA Win For Climate Responsibility Not Rated 5.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Neuberger, Nuveen, Payden, and SSGA Win For Climate Responsibility

Reported by Andrew Lusk

Several U.S. mutual fund firms recently won recognition for their efforts related to combating climate change.

Jonathan Bailey
Neuberger Berman
Managing Director; Head of Environmental, Social and Governance Investing
Of the thirty-six groups named by the team at London-based Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), sixteen are asset owners and twenty are investment managers. Familiar companies named to the 2020 Leaders' Group include Neuberger Berman, State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), TIAA's Nuveen, and Payden & Rygel, among others.

Earlier this month, the PRI team detailed their selection criteria, applicant pool overview, and AUM stats for the 2020 Leaders' Group. The Leaders' Group, a sampling of companies within the investment world demonstrating outstanding work for the betterment of their surrounding communities, is dedicated this year to organizations tackling climate change.

A spokesperson for Neuberger Berman tells MFWire, "We seek to protect our clients’ assets from material climate-related risks and to identify opportunities as appropriate on behalf of our clients."

Climate responsibility was added into PRI's Reporting Framework in 2018. This year's selection is the first time the group is using findings from that data pool to recognize industry leaders.

"Our climate-related corporate strategy covers investment risk and opportunity, as well as the operational resilience of our business," the Neuberger spokesperson adds, continuing, "We plan to continue to innovate and seek to improve our investment approach, particularly through the use of scenario analysis."

"Payden is proud to be recognized as one of only four US 2020 PRI leaders," states Joan Payden, president and CEO of Payden & Rygel. "We are committed to acting in the best long-term interests of our global client base and proud to prudently align our investment process with broader societal objectives."

Jonathan Bailey, head of ESG investing at Neuberger Berman, states, "We are delighted that the PRI has identified Neuberger Berman as a leader for our efforts to assess, manage and disclose climate risk and opportunity across our investment strategies."

He continues, "We have embedded climate scenario analysis into our investment processes across asset classes for several years now. Physical and transition climate risk has been a focus of our engagement efforts with portfolio companies, including our innovative NB25+ advance proxy voting initiative."

"And at the urging of our portfolio managers," Bailey adds, "we have formalized, and are in the process of implementing, an exclusion policy on thermal coal mining and coal generating utility expansion because our investment professionals believe there is no economic case for establishing new direct investment in these assets."

According to the PRI website, the Leaders' Group recognitions are part of a 10-year "blueprint for responsible investment," which pursues a series of initiatives to assess companies' progress and create an ambitious but achievable pathway for how the investment community may make real change over the next decade.

The Leaders' Group has been active since 2019, though PRI was founded in 2006. According to in-house statistics from PRI, most organizations recognized in the Leaders' Group are those which have been signatories to the original PRI platform from 2006. 

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