Deutsche Asset Management completes ESG education of all active liquid asset managers

Investment giant says it has trained ‘hundreds’ of its investment professionals on ESG

Investment giant Deutsche Asset Management has trained “hundreds” of its mainstream portfolio managers and analysts in environmental, social and governance issues, it told RI.
“One of our key targets last year was to increase the ESG training of our investment professionals across our active platform,” explained Susana Peñarrubia, Head of ESG Integration for the €710bn investment house’s active allocations.
As a result, the firm began an internal education programme in 2016, which it completed in February last year. This involved training analysts and portfolio managers how to use Deutsche Asset Management’s proprietorial ESG data and ESG portfolio analysis tools which it now houses in an ‘ESG Engine’ – created in 2014.
The ESG Engine hosts data from seven specialist vendors including MSCI, Sustainalytics, oekom, Trucost and Reprisk. This is then analysed by Deutsche AM to contribute to an overall ESG rating for corporates and sovereigns, as well as specific carbon and norms-based assessments and information.
“There is a real beauty to it,” added Petra Pflaum, Chief Investment Officer for Responsible Investments at the firm. “Every one of our fund managers in the liquid space has access on a single screen to the ESG quality of thefund – they don’t have to go to a different system, it’s embedded into our portfolio management tools.” The pair told RI the training enabled all teams, mainstream or SRI, to identify ESG risks and opportunities in investments and funds.
Secondly, Deutsche AM bought training services from the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies, which launched an ESG course in 2014. The association, which comprises financial analysts’ trade bodies from 21 countries, provides training material on a series of topics as part of the course, including: how to prove ESG factors are important, how to integrate, measure and report on ESG, and how to assess ESG in bond portfolios.
“Our investment professionals had until December 31st to complete this training if they were dealing with our active liquid investments – so not alternatives or real estate,” explained Peñarrubia. “They were required to do the study, but getting the certification was voluntary,” she added.
Deutsche AM declined to disclose the number of staff who completed the study or are expected to complete certification, but Pflaum described the former as “hundreds”.