Aviva Investors’ SRI team seeks to stay together with new parent

Team leader Michaelis confirms intention

The Sustainable and Responsible Investments team at Aviva Investors is seeking to stay together under a new parent, Responsible Investor has confirmed.

The SRI equity team was among a number of teams at the £269bn (€321.7bn) fund firm hit by a reorganization yesterday which could cost around 160 jobs.

Now it’s emerged that the team under Head of Sustainable and Responsible Investment Peter Michaelis is looking to remain intact under new ownership.

“That is our intention and the board of Aviva Investors are supportive of this,” Michaelis told Responsible Investor.

“So for now we continue to run the Sustainable Future funds and hope to continue doing so at another institution.” The Sustainable Future funds are a series of six funds with an estimated £1.1bn in assets.
Michaelis has been running the Sustainable Future funds for more than a decade and says he will do all he can to ensure they continue to thrive and that clients are looked after.
Aviva’s Sustainable and Responsible Investments (SRI)team comprised 16 employees, although the fund manager’s website is not up-to-date with team changes.
Aviva said it plans to set up a Global Responsible Investment Team that will “refocus” its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) activities and cover all assets under management – although details so far are scarce.

It said it remains committed to initiatives like the UN Global Compact, Sustainable Stock Exchanges, the UN Principles for Responsible Investment and the UK Stewardship Code, but that there will be less resources allocated to corporate governance.

The firm stressed it would continue to integrate “material ESG issues” into its mainstream assets under management.
The division’s chief executive, Alain Dromer, has been quoted by Financial News as saying that SRI assets under management have been stagnant. London CEO Paul Abberley added there would be a significant downsizing of the firm’s corporate governance team, ESG research team and the SRI investments team.