AXA IM To Divest From Coal-Related Companies

Apr 25 2017 | 5:46pm ET

Global multi-asset manager AXA Investment Managers will divest from companies deriving more than 50% of annual revenues from coal-related activities starting June 30, 2017, the company has announced, as the Paris-based firm continues to integrate its ESG (environmental, social, governance) program across all investment strategies. 

The move follows similar divestiture decisions regarding palm oil and soft commodities derivatives implemented in 2014 and on controversial weapons in 2008. 

In a statement, AXA IM said it believes divestment from coal-related activities, specifically mining and electric utilities companies, helps contribute to the global transition to a low carbon economy. 

The new policy will apply to almost all of the €717 billion under management at AXA, excluding fund of funds and index categories, and result in divestment of approximately €165 million of fixed income portfolios and €12 million of equity portfolios. Clients in segregated mandates may choose to opt out of this policy should they wish to do so, the company added. 

“As a responsible investor and active steward of our clients’ assets, we strongly believe that divesting from coal can help to de-risk portfolios over the long term by decreasing exposure to assets that are likely to become ‘stranded’ in the future,” said Andrea Rossi, CEO of AXA IM, in the statement. “This decision is consistent with our ambitions for continued and greater ESG integration across AXA IM. It is also in line with our belief that asset managers have an important role to play in helping the global transition to a low carbon economy.”

AXA Group, parent company of AXA IM, announced a similar policy regarding coal – the world’s most carbon-intensive energy source – in May 2015 which resulted in €0.5 billion in divestment.

Headquartered in Paris, AXA IM managed more than €717 billion in assets at the end of 2016 from 29 offices in 21 countries. The company is part of the AXA Group, a global leader in financial protection and wealth management.

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