Despite “pockets of excellence” in responsible investment, South African asset managers have much to do – report

Some greenwashing found by Kigoda Consulting

Despite some “pockets of excellence” in responsible investment, asset managers in South Africa still has a lot of work to do to meet their requirements under the CRISA code, according to a new report.

A new ranking from consulting firm Kigoda finds firms like Old Mutual Investment Group and Investec Asset Management, followed by Sanlam Investment Management, “demonstrate strong commitment to sustainable and responsible investment through their policies, governance structures and transparency”.
The Kigoda RI Ranking 2017 found that most of the assessed managers have taken some steps to support responsible investment.
“However, there is still a significant amount of work to be done,” it states “before the majority of these asset managers can claim to be meeting their CRISA commitments, and there is at least an element of “greenwashing” among the asset managers with low scores in the Kigoda RI Ranking 2017.”CRISA is the Code for Responsible Investing in South Africa which came into effect in 2012.

Cape Town-based Kigoda is headed by Mike Davies, the former head of the Africa team at risk consulting firm Maplecroft, now known as Verisk Maplecroft.

While CRISA positioned South Africa, in the words of the report, as an “emerging market leader” in responsible investment, it is voluntary and there is no formal oversight of implementation. The Kigoda report aims to address this.
“The Kigoda RI Ranking 2017 demonstrates that there are pockets of excellence among SA’s largest asset managers in the implementation of responsible investment practices,” it says.

But it concludes that there is “still a significant amount of work to be done” before most managers can claim to be meeting their CRISA commitments. And it finds “an element” of ‘greenwashing’ among those with low scores.