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Candriam

ESG-specialist Candriam sees assets increase to EUR140bn

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ESG-focused asset manager CANDRIAM, has seen assets increase to EUR140 billion at the end of 2020. The firm reports that this was an increase of EUR10.1 billion, up from EUR130 billion in 2019. 

ESG-focused asset manager CANDRIAM, has seen assets increase to EUR140 billion at the end of 2020. The firm reports that this was an increase of EUR10.1 billion, up from EUR130 billion in 2019. 

AUM growth was mostly driven by increased investor demand for CANDRIAM’s range of ESG-related products and strategies, including a broad range of innovative thematic equity strategies. CANDRIAM’s AUM dedicated to these ESG-related products and strategies have now reached EUR88 billion, the firm reports. 

Last year’s growth was underpinned by ongoing outperformance across CANDRIAM’s broad range of products, with more than 50 per cent of rated funds awarded four or five stars by Morningstar at the end of 2020.  

The business also expanded its investment offering in the alternatives and illiquids space over the year, with December 2020 seeing the firm announcing a new partnership with European private debt specialist Kartesia, which followed a deal in July to acquire Rothschild & Co Europe’s alternative multi-management unit.  

In 2018, CANDRIAM purchased a stake in real estate investment manager Tristan Capital Partners.  

Naïm Abou-Jaoudé, CEO of CANDRIAM & Chairman of New York Life Investments International, says: “Despite the pandemic, CANDRIAM proved very resilient in 2020, carefully navigating challenging market conditions. Our performance was strong across all asset classes, which reflects the ongoing relevance of our active management platform to the full investor landscape. Investors were particularly attracted to our market leading sustainable solutions, thematic products and our increasing focus on illiquids and alternatives.  

“We have an impressive track record, having doubled our AUM since 2013, of which nearly 63 per cent is now dedicated to ESG strategies. Looking ahead, I remain confident in our ability to respond to evolving investor needs by continuing to provide value added, innovative solutions.” 

CANDRIAM’s 2020 annual net sales reached EUR3.9 billion. Thematic equity strategies proved one of the most popular categories in the year, achieving inflows of EUR2.5 billion and taking the total AUM across thematic equities to EUR8.5 billion at the end of 2020.  

ESG fixed income strategies also saw strong inflows during 2020, notably corporate bonds – high yield in particular – and emerging market debt. CANDRIAM launched its Equity Impact Oncology strategy in 2019 aimed at investing in listed companies that research and develop products for the treatment of cancer.  

Two years on the strategy has reached EUR1.6 billion in AUM. In addition, the Sustainable Equity Climate Action strategy launched 18 months ago has achieved almost EUR1 billion in AUM.  

The business launched several new thematic equity strategies in 2020, including a strategy devoted to the circular economy, which invests in global equities involved in activities that contribute to recycling, replacement, repurpose and rationalisation of products and resources.  

It also launched its first private equity Impact strategy, which gives investors exposure, via investment funds and co-investments, to companies whose performance is linked to measurable social or environmental factors. CANDRIAM was awarded an A+ rating by UN Principles for Responsible Investment assessment, and was selected as part of the UN PRI 2020 Leaders Group in recognition of its approach to sustainable investing, and specifically its practices in climate reporting. 

CANDRIAM writes that it also pursued its ambition to reduce the knowledge gap on sustainable investing by accelerating the development of the CANDRIAM Academy. Launched in 2017, the accredited training platform for sustainable investing expanded its geographic footprint to three new countries during 2020, reaching 6,000 members from 30 countries.  

A new module dedicated to the circular economy was also released last year. Supporting and developing qualitative academic research on ESG investing is another way to accelerate investors shift to sustainability. In 2020, new academic partnerships were agreed with three leading academic institutions: The London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute, UCLouvain, and the Vlerick Business School.  

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