France’s fourth biggest fund manager sets 100% SRI target by 2020

Quasi government status could mean major boost for French SRI funds profile.

La Banque Postale Asset Management (LBPAM), France’s fourth largest asset manager with €189bn of assets under management, says it will become a 100% SRI fund manager by 2020 in what could be a major step in promoting SRI funds with the French public because of its part public status.
In the first steps towards switching its entire fund range to responsible investment LBPAM said that in June it would launch a new range of six SRI conviction funds across equity, bonds, green bonds and a cash fund, as well as two new French solidarity funds, which are more focused impact portfolios.
The manager will also start a campaign of explaining responsible investment to clients.
Daniel Roy, Chairman of the board at LBPAM, said: “For La Banque Postale Asset Management, socially responsible investment is not a fashion but THE most pertinent way to manage money for the years ahead. The objective of switching all of our money towards SRI by 2020 is ambitious but responds entirely to the convictions of the group. We are going to mobilise all our resources to help all of our clients progressively adhere to responsible investment. We are convinced that sustainable finance enables financial markets to have a virtuous role in the economy and our belonging to the Banque Postale group means we are the savings outlets for responsible citizenship.”LBPAM runs mostly UCIT funds and segregated mandates for a largely French client base. It won a portion of a large 2016 bond mandate from France’s €38bn Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites (FRR), when FRR tendered a total of up to €8.5bn in assets across 11 different briefs to managers running euro- and US dollar-denominated credits.
LBPAM is a subsidiary of France’s La Banque Postale (70% shareholding) and two other major equity holders: Aegon Asset Management (25%) and Malakoff Mederic, the French mutual health and insurance/pension savings group (5%). La Banque Postale was itself created in 2006 as a retail banking subsidiary of La Poste, the French postal service, which is 74% state-owned, with the rest held by France’s sovereign wealth fund, the Caisse des dépôts et consignations. Because of its public service mission, La Banque Postale is the sole organization allowed to offer clients a Livret A tax-free savings account.
LBPAM launched its first ethical fund in 1997 and says it already more than 50% of its assets in SRI funds euro 109, and et 26 funds under various sustainability or energy transition labels.
Earlier this month, LBPAM received an official SRI label for seven more of its funds across equities, cash, credit and multi-asset. The SRI label is backed by the French Finance Ministry and the fund labelling audit is conducted by accredited independent third parties.