Hirschel and Kramer (H&K) Responsible Investment Brand Index™ 2024

Asset managers must voice their beliefs and objectives. Now more than ever.

Responsible Investment Brand Index™ 2024

  • RIBI™ 2024 evaluates 600 asset managers globally on their ability to translate commitment to responsible development into their brand.
  • A positive trend to further embed responsible investment within corporate culture: 57% of companies who express a Purpose statement directly connect this with societal impact.
  • An apparent lack of cultural coherence: two thirds of all asset managers who express a raison d’être fail to align their Value Systems with their Purpose.

Now in its sixth edition, the Responsible Investment Brand Index (RIBI™) highlights the ability of 600 asset managers globally to translate their efforts towards responsible investment into their core brand. The index is an indispensable tool and source of information within the asset management industry, offering insights not available anywhere else.

This 2024 edition casts a spotlight on the effects the thorough integration of responsible investment principles into a company's core identity can have on asset managers. By aligning their brands and cultures with a deep commitment to responsible investment, firms can successfully navigate the complexities of today's ESG and investment landscape. Now more than ever, asset managers must voice their beliefs and objectives on how they achieve the dual goals of generating returns for their investors as well as contributing to a better world through their actions.

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The 2024 RIBI delivers Insights to help shape your Responsible Investment strategy. Access unique qualitative insights beyond the usual figures.

By combining hard and soft factors, the 2024 Responsible Investment Brand Index reaches beyond figures by providing you with relevant insights into the ESG landscape.

  • Degree of commitment to responsible investment
  • Degree of sustainability embodied within brand identity
  • Value based consistency of communication
  • Articulation of a purpose contributing to greater societal good

The RIBI is an invaluable tool to identify potential gaps between your Responsible Investment strategy and your brand and market position.

KEY POINTS FOR 2024

  • Evaluated universe of 600+ asset managers globally
  • A global perspective with region-by-region analysis of RIBI showing the comparative attitude towards Responsible Investment across regions and within each region.
  • A special focus on boutique asset managers

We congratulate the TOP 10 achievers in the 2024 RIBI™ Avant Gardist Category

  1. DPAM
  2. CANDRIAM
  3. UBS Asset Management
  4. Nordea Asset Management
  5. Pictet Asset Management
  6. Amundi
  7. WHEB Asset Management
  8. Impax Asset Management
  9. Ecofi
  10. Robeco
RIBI-Top-10-Avant-Gardist-logo

Diversity of progress reflects diversity of industry dynamics.

Globally, the 2024 edition shows stability in terms of Commitment (global Commitment score of 2.10 compared to 2.12 in 2023), and a slight decrease in terms of Brand (global Brand score of 1.69 compared to 1.90 in 2023). Both ratings work on a five points scale, with five representing the best score - please refer to our evaluation methodology for details.

“Purpose is the guiding North Star that is needed now more than ever in an industry full of diverging forces. It is the reference that unites and energises colleagues, it is the reference that helps clients and stakeholders understand a company's role in the world and in society. I am encouraged to see more and more asset managers embracing their social responsibility and viewing investment performance as an absolute necessity, as a means, not an end,” says Markus Kramer, Co-founder of the Responsible Investment Brand Index.

Exploring the evolution of asset managers' commitment to responsible investment: insights from the RIBI universe.

2024-RIBI-category-rating

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European asset managers lead the way and make progress.

As highlighted in previous editions, Europe leads the way with Commitment and Brand ratings well above average. North America lags, as it did last year – or more specifically, the United States is lagging, while Canada is well above the global average.

2024-relative-region-rating
Other regions also show such variations. For example, Asia Pacific is close to the world average, but within this region Australia and Japan are well above the world mean. It is worth noting the continued progress of China, which while still in a weak position globally, has its first Avant - Gardists asset managers appearing in the ranking this year.

Focusing on the leading region, Europe, we see a continuous improvement with a higher proportion of Avant - Gardists year after year.
2024-percentage-avantguardists-Europe
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Asset managers must voice their beliefs and objectives. Now more than ever.

The duality of performance and a strong commitment to responsible investment is increasingly seen as hygiene. Responsible investment strategies keep resonating strongly with clients and stakeholders, particularly in Europe, positioning firms as leaders in the movement towards investments that contribute to societal and global improvements. Yet, as we can also clearly observe, there is an expectation that this doesn’t come at the expense of a focus on long-term financial performance.

So how can asset managers take advantage of the 2024 RIB findings?

By anchoring their identity in a well-defined Purpose and a robust Value System, asset managers can distinguish themselves, build cultures of excellence, attract investors with similar values, and attract and retain top talent. This not only drives performance and growth but also significantly contributes to a more sustainable future. More broadly, it helps build the trust and alignment between asset managers, their clients, and their beneficiaries that our society so much needs. Voicing beliefs and objectives is not just encouraged; it is imperative for those who aim to lead and make a lasting impact.

Jean-François Hirschel, co-founder of the Responsible Investment Brand Index adds: “Our society needs a foundation of trust between its investment management industry, its clients and its beneficiaries. A clear and well-articulated identity is a powerful way to create alignment between asset managers and their clients. I am encouraged by the overall progress the industry is making on these matters. The variety of approaches asset managers are taking to incorporate responsible investment into their brands is a sign of a maturing subject. The industry is moving towards ESG 2.0.”

LEVERAGE THE RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT INDEX TO YOUR ADVANTAGE

For asset managers:

RIBI 2024

Extensive research results, with insights on the evolution of the overall industry. Detailed dissection of the performance of all key players in the RIBI segments. Global perspectives, including a competitive overview with the rankings of the Top-10 on a per-country basis within global regions and countries.

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RIBI 2024 INSIGHTS +

Extensive research results, with detailed insights on the evolution of your company. A qualitative assessment of your evolution and a direct comparison of your position vs peers on each of the analysed criteria (Commitment + Brand). A detailed rating of the quality of your Purpose and Values as well as recommendations for action. This includes tailored preparation, and report as well as a debriefing call. Delivery time is 10 working days and progressed on a first come first served basis).

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RIBI 2024 DEEP DIVE

You get all tailored services from the INSIGHTS+ report as well as an analysis of your company compared to specific peer universes defined with you: by country and/or by size and/or by type of organisation, aligned with the strategy of your firm. This is presented in a dedicated workshop with your team (virtual or on-site), moderated by the RIBI authors. This includes an in-depth preparation briefing call to customise the workshop to your needs, as well as a follow-up with concrete recommendations that you can use for your Responsible Investment and Brand strategy. Timings are on a first come first served basis.

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We provide tailor-made services. If you are interested in being assessed on the RIBI methodology but are not part yet of the universe of companies anaylsed, please contact us. Please note that INSIGHTS+ and DEEP DIVE are inclusive of the RIBI STAR Licensing Fees for Avant-Gardist Companies.

For asset owners, fund selectors and investment consultants:

RIBI 2024

Extensive research results with insights on the evolution of the overall industry. Detailed dissection of the performance of all key players in the RIBI segments.

Free immediate download.

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INSIGHTS +, Single manager

Extensive research results with detailed insights on the evolution of an asset manager of your choice. A direct comparison of their position vs peers on each of the criteria analysed (Commitment + Brand). A detailed analysis and interpretation of what it means for you.

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INSIGHTS +, Multiple manager

Receive INSIGHTS+ reports for several managers, for example, all those who manage for you, or all those in a specific country / region. Comparative analysis between each of the managers in the selected sample is provided and evaluated for you.

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Use of RIBI Sign of Achievement (if eligible)

Being placed in the top category and rated as an “Avant Gardist” allows eligible companies to use the RIBI™ Sign of Achievement in their communication materials. Using the RIBI™ Avant Gardist™ Sign of Achievement is subject to an annual licencing fee of EUR 1250. Please contact us.

Avant-Gardist

About the Index

RIBI (the Responsible Investment Brand Index) has been developed to identify which asset management companies act as responsible investors and commit to sustainable development to the extent that they put it at the very heart of who they are: i.e. in their brand. The index analyses close to 600 global asset managers.

Methodology Overview

RIBI is made up of two ratings, the Commitment rating which focuses on hard factors (e.g. level and quality of Listed Equity voting) and the Brand rating which focuses on soft factors (e.g. the existence of a Purpose statement and the quality of its expression). Each of these two ratings ranges from 0 (poor) to five (excellent).

The consistency of what an investment manager commits to in terms of responsible investment and how it projects this in its brand is measured via the four RIBI categories:

  • Avant-Gardist: Above-average on Commitment rating and Brand rating
  • Traditionalist: Above-average on Commitment rating and below-average on Brand rating
  • Aspirant: Above-average on Brand rating and below- average on Commitment rating
  • Laggard: Below-average on both ratings
Data required to calculate these ratings is sourced from publicly available information.

Commitment: rating methodology

The Commitment rating is based on of five top-level criteria.
  • Organisation and strategy
  • Integration of responsible investment in the investment processes
  • Engagement and stewardship
  • Sustainable outcomes, collective and policy-makers’ involvement
  • Senior involvement: seniority of the staff involved in the quality control of responsible investment reporting
The information required to evaluate each of these criteria is sourced from the Principles of Responsible Investment Transparency Reports. It is important to note that asset managers who opt out of annual PRI reporting will miss the chance to have their advancements considered in the RIBI Commitment assessment.

Branding: rating methodology

The Brand rating is based on eight criteria:
  • Whether or not the asset manager express a Purpose.
  • Whether or not this Purpose connects with societal goals.
  • Evaluation of the quality of the expression of the Purpose based on five criteria.
  • Whether or not the asset manager has a Values system.
  • Whether or not this Values system connects with societal goals.
  • Evaluation of the quality of the expression of the Values system based on five criteria.
  • Whether or not the asset manager has a strap line which connects with societal ambitions.
  • Whether or not Responsible Investment is mentioned as an objective in the asset manager’s corporate description.

*Please refer to the RIBI Index Pages 35 and 36 for detailed description of methodology.

Additional Notes for Category Lookup

"Grace Period" is shown for managers which are in the Principles for Responsible Investment grace period because they are recent signatory and do not have to submit a transparency report yet. This also applies to some managers who have changed the corporate scope signing the PRI.

"Suspended" is shown for managers currently in transformation

About the Authors

Jean-François Hirschel is the founder and CEO of H-IDEAS, a company which aims at re-establishing trust in the financial world. His professional expertise lies in strategically positioning financial services companies at brand and product level. Hirschel has held senior leadership positions at Société Générale and Unigestion. He holds a MSc from EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland, and has profound knowledge and experience in Institutional, Private and Retail Banking & Asset Management.

Markus Kramer is a partner at Brand Affairs, a specialist consultancy with expertise in strategic positioning and brand building. He holds an MBA from the University of Oxford and is a visiting Senior Fellow in Strategic Brand Management at Bayes (formerly Cass) Business School London. The portfolio of brands he works with includes companies such as Aston Martin, Harley-Davidson as well as Banks, Asset Managers, Governments and NGOs. Kramer is author of the book The Guiding Purpose Strategy, A Navigational Code for Brand Growth.

Contacts

Jean-François Hirschel
CEO and Founder
H-Ideas S.A.
Rue de la Cité, 1
1204 Geneva, Switzerland

Phone: +41 22 561 84 12
E-mail: jf@h-ideas.ch

Markus Kramer
Managing Partner
Brand Affairs AG
Mühlebachstrasse 8
8008 Zurich, Switzerland

Phone: +41 44 254 80 00
E-mail: markus.kramer@brandaffairs.ch

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Disclaimer

The authors accept no liability for the content of the data presented in this document, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided, unless that information is subsequently confirmed in writing. Any views or opinions presented in this analysis are solely those of the authors.

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