Amundi ESG Assets More Than Double in First Half of 2021

Over a third of all French manager’s assets managed via SFDR Article 8 and 9 vehicles.

Amundi, Europe’s largest asset manager, reported that its ESG assets under management (AUM) rose to €798 billion in its latest quarterly results, released Friday, more than double the €378 billion reported at the end of last year.

The firm attributed the sharp increase in the six months to 30 June to “continued integration of ESG criteria” into traditional investment management processes, as well as higher-than-normal inflows into actively managed funds in the first half of 2021, noting “good momentum” for climate and environment solutions, ESG fixed-income funds, and thematic equity funds.

Amundi said it now manages €680 billion in funds and mandates classified in Article 8 or 9 under Europe’s Sustainable Finance Disclosures Regulation, compared with €450 billion three months ago.

Funds classified under Article 8 are defined as promoting environmental or social characteristics alongside other factors, while Article 9 count sustainability as a core investment objective. Article 8 is considered to be too broadly defined by both regulators and providers, leading the European Commission to issue clarification via a Q&A last month.

A Morningstar analysis of Article 8 and 9 funds published last week reported that Amundi had the largest share of Article 8 and 9 fund assets, at 6.5%, followed by Nordea, Swedbank and JP Morgan.

Amundi, majority owned by Credit Agricole, reported net inflows of €7.2 billion during Q2 2021, with net revenues up 9% versus the first quarter. The firm’s AUM rose to €1.8 trillion at the end of the quarter, an annual increase of 12.7%. It expects to complete the integration of ETF specialist Lyxor Asset Management, purchased from Societe Generale, by the end of the year.

In July, Amundi joined the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, members of which now account for more than US$7 trillion AUM, and co-launched Investors for a Just Transition, a coalition of asset managers and asset owners committed to promoting a just transition to low-carbon economies, representing €3.6 trillion AUM.

In July, France’s financial markets regulator sought to fine Amundi €38 million following an investigation into trades in Euro Stoxx 50 constituents in 2014 and 2015, which found that employees had circumvented the firm’s internal controls to execute ‘wash trades’ resulting in a €28 million loss to institutional clients, since compensated.

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