France’s FRR fires Dexia from 100m euro+ SRI mandate

Assets divided between four other European SRI managers.

The €29bn ($40.5bn) French pensions reserve fund (FRR) has fired Belgium’s Dexia Asset Management from an SRI mandate likely to have exceeded €100m as a result of poor performance.
The fund terminated Dexia’s contract in European SRI equities after three and a half years of an expected five-year mandate which started in July, 2006. The assets will be shared amongst FRR’s four other European equity SRI managers: Allianz Global Investors, Morley Fund Management, Pictet Asset Management and Sarasin Expertise Asset Management.
FRR initially invested about €600m in pure SRI mandates with the five asset managers, which started to run the money between July and December 2006.The fund did not disclosure the nature of the performance issues at Dexia, although the manager’s returns appears to have been hit by the credit crisis.
In October, 2008, Nada Villermain-Lecolier, head of responsible investment at FRR told that after 1.5 years of track record all its SRI fund managers had been in line with their MSCI Europe benchmark since inception, while some had beaten the index, suggesting that Dexia’s problems came afterwards.
Governments in Belgium, France and Luxembourg had to step in to rescue Dexia, the fund manager’s parent bank, injecting almost €6.4bn into the business to keep it afloat at the height of the credit crisis.