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BNP Paribas AM has been chosen as the best ESG asset manager

In the inaugural ESG Champions awards from London-based ESG advisory and portfolio analytics company MainStreet Partners, which gave the best boutique award to Sycomore Asset Management, BNP Paribas Asset Management was named best asset manager.

The best social thematic fund award for its Smart Food fund was also presented to BNP Paribas AM, making it the only fund house to win two ESG Champions titles.

European companies ruled the awards, with, among other continental houses, NN Investment Partners, Pictet and Mirova claiming prizes.

The award recipients were drawn from 350 funds from more than 60 asset managers rated by MainStreet Partners, and each scored at least 4.0 out of 5.0 on the analytics firm's ESG Rating, with two funds earning the highest possible ranking - Federated Hermes Impact Opportunities Equity and NN Green Bond.

Neill Blanks, research director at MainStreet Partners, said: "[Our] holistic methodology was created to help investors identify real sustainable investments across asset classes and to avoid greenwashing.

"Given the development and increasing depth of ESG fund offerings we have named nine broad categories across equities, fixed income, multi-asset and thematic investing together with the best overall asset manager as well as the best boutique.

"The new EU regulation requires the identification and disclosure of sustainability risks which, in our opinion, are beyond the simple average rating of portfolio holdings because they involve the asset manager's approach to sustainability, its commitment, its disclosures, how sustainability principles are incorporated in the investment process and how those may affect financial results.

"These aspects are crucially influenced by the actions, policies and procedures that the asset managers have to put in place to make informed decisions and construct portfolios. Furthermore, when looking at the portfolio, controversies also need to be taken into consideration since company ratings often do not incorporate them in a timely manner."


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