• Foundations that invest sustainably have a total AUM of no less than €27 billion.
• Their favorite approach is impact investing, with an emphasis on social housing.
• These findings are from the survey conducted by the Italian Sustainable Investment Forum (ItaSIF) and presented during the SRI (Sustainable and Responsible Investment) Week.
“The sustainable and responsible investment policies of Italian banking foundations” survey was conducted by ItaSIF in collaboration with Acri and MondoInstitutional with the support of DPAM, Natixis Investment Managers, Prometeia and T. Rowe Price.
The event was part of the 9th edition of the SRI Week (Settimana SRI).
Adoption of SRI strategies
• The sample surveyed includes 83 Banking Foundations that are members of Acri (hereafter referred to as “Foundations”) with an aggregate AUM of over €44 billion. The 32 respondents account for 80% of total assets (ca. €35 billion).
• Half of the respondents (14 Foundations) make sustainable investments; among these, the top 10, size-wise, collectively manage €27 billion, equal to 61% of total assets of the sample. The main reason for choosing SRI investment strategies is a willingness to: manage financial risks more effectively, obtain better returns, mitigate reputational risk and keep up with the evolution of the reference regulatory framework (especially within the EU). Their answers indicate that Foundations see a competitive advantage in sustainable investments.
• Among the respondents that do not apply sustainable investment strategies, 10 reported that are considering doing so (15% of total assets) and in 7 cases they are likely to decide by the end of 2020.
Impact investing and mission-related investments (MRIs)
• The most widespread SRI strategies among Foundations are: impact investing (with the main focus being on social housing), exclusions, thematic investments, best in class and international conventions membership.
• 14 Foundations that use SRI make mission-related investments : here again, the focus is on social housing.
The survey points out three areas in which the Foundations could be encouraged so as to increase their SRI commitment:
• assets managed with sustainable strategies (now mainly ranging between 0 and 25% of AUM);
• engagement with investee companies and stewardship to promote more sustainable corporate practices – that might be encouraged through information and educational activities on this theme;
• disclosure of information on sustainable investments (9 in 14 Foundations that adopt sustainable investments only disclose general data on this theme).