Crédit Agricole buys 100% control of SRI subsidiary

Banks and fund managers building stakes in responsible investment

France’s Crédit Agricole Asset Management Group has bought out a remaining 10 % stake in Integral Development Asset Management (IDEAM) held by Xavier de Bayser, co-founder and chairman of the company, as part of a group policy to increase its presence in socially responsible investment (SRI). The price paid was not disclosed.
Under the deal, IDEAM, Credit Agricole’s specialist SRI fund management subsidiary becomes a fully owned subsidiary of the fund manager.
Mainstream banks and asset managers are increasingly buying into SRI research firms to integrate environmental, social and governance issues into their investment processes.
Last week, Merrill Lynch, the US financial services group, said it had taken a minority stake in ASSET4, the Swiss SRI research house. The two companies have also entered into a strategic marketing relationship with Merrill acquiring a global license to incorporate ASSET4`s research into its investment process and product structuring.De Bayser will stay with IDEAM to become chairman of a newly founded board of five directors including Michèle Jardin, who has been appointed chief executive officer of IDEAM alongside her role as head of strategy, trading, analysis, research and systems at Crédit Agricole Asset Management. Paul-Henri de La Porte du Theil, deputy chief executive of the overall fund management group, will also sit on the board. IDEAM manages €1.6bn ($2.3bn) euro in assets under management, both retail and institutional, and focuses on picking stocks based on sustainable development criteria.
Crédit Agricole Asset Management, which runs €565.7 billion in assets, is Europe’s fifth largest fund manager.
The group signed the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in May 2006.