Axiom Sustainable Financial Bonds fund awarded Sustainability Label
French asset manager Axiom Alternative Investments' (Axiom) Axiom Sustainable Financial Bonds fund, formally-named Axiom Contingent Capital, has been awarded the ‘Towards Sustainability’ label from the Belgian Financial Sector Federation (Febelfin).
The label, which is awarded to funds that have socially responsible and sustainable financial practices at their core, aims to instil trust and reassure investors that a financial product is managed with sustainability as a key priority, whilst also reducing the potential for risks caused by unsustainable business practices. Launched in 2019, the Towards Sustainability label is one of the most stringent in Europe and to date only 579 financial products have been awarded it.
Axiom Sustainable Financial Bonds, with EUR33 million under management, invests in financial institutions that are considered best in class for climate change integration. Axiom has introduced a new investment methodology, Axiom’s Climate Readiness Score, which uses both qualitative and quantitative data analysis to identify climate leaders within the European financial sector. To do this, the fund:
• analyses the level of priority given to climate change by top management, including how it is embedded in the organisation’s long-term strategy
• analyses the financial institution’s process used to carry out assessments on their exposure to climate related risks, as well as how these results are integrated into decision making
• analyses the quality and scale of investments that seek to contribute to the low carbon transition; and
• quantifies the temperature (°C) of banks’ corporate lending portfolio and identifies its compatibility with the well below 2°C aim of the Paris Agreement.
To oversee the company’s ESG strategy and coordinate the fund’s external engagement with issuers, Axiom is also pleased to confirm the appointment of Laura Ramirez to the newly-created role of ESG Manager. Laura joins the Company having spent over five years at 2 Degrees, the non-profit think tank that works to align financial markets with the Paris Agreement goals, latterly as Head of Emerging Markets. Prior to that, Laura spent a year working at France’s Ministry of Ecology Transition as a Project Officer in Sustainable Finance. She brings a wealth of relevant experience to Axiom and will report directly to Jerome Legras, Axiom’s Head of Research.
David Benamou, Chief Investment Officer at Axiom, says: “At Axiom, we aim to be pioneers in sustainable investing within the European financial services sector. For the past 12 months, we’ve been working on a methodology for Axiom Sustainable Financial Bonds with I Care (the environmental consultant) and are delighted that the fund has now been awarded the Febelfin label in recognition of its ESG credentials.
“With her wealth of experience working to align financial markets with environmental goals, we are delighted to welcome Laura to Axiom at such a key moment in our ESG development. With her support, we will be able to continue to develop and integrate the business’ ESG strategy.”
Laura Ramirez, ESG Manager at Axiom, says: “I am delighted to join Axiom and coordinate its ESG efforts at a time when sustainability issues, and in particular climate change, are increasingly high on the agenda for financial institutions. The Axiom Climate Readiness Score will not only improve our ability to assess an issuer’s ability to integrate climate change at the core of their business but, more importantly, it will also enhance our engagement efforts with financial institutions as we seek to accelerate climate action within the sector.”