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France’s Natixis Asset Management unveils responsible investing arm called Mirova

New unit to be headed by Deputy CEO Zaouati

Natixis Asset Management, the France-based fund firm with a total of €286.5bn in assets under management, has launched a new responsible investment arm called Mirova, which will be headed by Natixis’ Deputy CEO Philippe Zaouati.

Natixis says Mirova will be the second‐largest European manager of open‐ended SRI funds and social business funds. The new operation has €4bn in SRI equity, €7.7bn in advising on environmental, social and governance (ESG) and €20.4bn assets under voting and engagement.

The new 36-employee unit combines all Natixis’ current responsible investing activities and will be marketed at all types of investors, both professional and non-professional. These include institutional investors, companies, multi-managers, private banks, independent financial advisors and banking networks.

“We are convinced that we need to think about asset management differently in order to better take into account the risks and opportunities of a changing world,” said Zaouati. Mirova aims to provide solutions to investors seeking “returns, sustainability and meaning”.

Zaouati, who joined Natixis in 2007, is also head of the Corporate Governance Commission of the French Asset managers’ association (AFG) and a board member of the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN).He also chairs the Responsible Investment Working Group of the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA).

The launch “reflects our strong ambitions to strengthen our position as an innovative market player and become an international leader in this field,” added Natixis CEO Pascal Voisin.

Last month Natixis launched a responsible investment partnership with the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership at the University of Cambridge in the UK. The aim is to promote sustainable investment and more responsible behaviour by financial firms in Europe and internationally.

Natixis itself is part of the wider Groupe BPCE which runs the Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne banks.

Mirova is organised in four pillars:

  • Listed equities on eight sustainable themes (energy, buildings/cities, mobility, consumption, resources, healthcare, ICT and finance)
  • Infrastructure, handled by Natixis Environnement & Infrastructures.
  • Impact investing
  • Voting and engagement.