KUALA LUMPUR — Manulife Investment Management announced today that it has once again been recognized with top scores from the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) annual assessment report. For the second year in a row, Manulife Investment Management received a score of A+ for strategy and governance from the PRI for integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations into investment practices across a range of asset classes. An A+ was also awarded in the listed equity and fixed-income sovereign, supranational, and agency (SSA) integration modules.
Other notable achievements included:
- Manulife Investment Management’s public markets received an A in all other direct investment and active ownership PRI modules for which it was assessed. Other modules covered its investments in corporate bonds and securitized debt. Manulife Investment Management saw notable increases in its scores as compared to 2018 in areas such as: communications regarding ESG screens, and integration and implementation of analysis of the ESG information for internally managed listed equity holdings. There was also improvement in the number of companies engaged with and the intensity of engagement and effort. Similarly, for fixed income, Manulife Investment Management saw improvements in the integration and implementation of the ESG issues reviewed and its disclosure of approach with the public. For securitized, an outcome of either financial/ESG performance was also noted as an additional assessment indicator.
- Manulife Investment Management’s private markets continued to be recognized as a leader with real estate receiving an A for the third consecutive year under the property module. In addition, Manulife Investment Management demonstrated its commitment to sustainable investing within private markets by expanding the scope of the assessment in 2019 to include submissions for infrastructure and private equity, achieving a B in each respective module.
“Manulife Investment Management strives to be a leader in ESG investment practices as a responsible steward of client capital,” said Christopher P. Conkey, CFA, global head of public markets, Manulife Investment Management. “We are very proud of our investment teams for achieving an A+ for ESG strategy and governance for the second year in a row and for earning superior marks in the screening, integration, and engagements modules for listed equities and in direct fixed-income SSA. This is not only important for our clients who entrust us to implement ESG for specific portfolio goals, but also for the overall relevance of our strategies as we look to the future of investment management.”
“Sustainability is one of the keys to creating long-term value for our clients within private markets,” added Stephen J. Blewitt, global head of private markets. “It is important for us to consider sustainability because we’re generally long-term investors across a diverse range of private markets asset classes and submitting to the PRI is an opportunity for us to demonstrate transparency while tracking our progress. It is rewarding for the work we have done to be recognized.”
The key activities within Manulife Investment Management’s investment teams in 2019, which helped to achieve the PRI scores include:
- The release of its inaugural sustainable and responsible investment report in 2019.
- Increased integration in industry analysis, sovereign analysis, and securitized fixed income. Manulife Investment Management developed a proprietary sovereign ESG assessment model in 2019, which is currently in use by its investment teams as an input into credit analysis. The model produces sovereign-specific baseline views on ESG issues.
- The use of scenario analysis—a key tool for companies in demonstrating planning for climate change.
- A substantial increase in the number of engagements with companies. Manulife Investment Management engaged with 724 companies in 940 separate engagements in 2019.
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