Why responsibility matters

15 December 2015
For Royal London Asset Management (RLAM), being a responsible investor comes with the territory as one of the UK's leading fund management companies. Done properly, responsible investing can act as another source of outperformance.
RLP Sustainable Diversified

You can access this fund as part of our wider fund range.

Far from the standard negatively screened ethical fund, find out how ESG factors sit at the heart of the fund’s investment process.

With over £83bn assets under management, RLAM have a responsibility to use this investment strength to promote positive corporate behaviour to the benefit of our customers and the wider community.

What's more, RLAM are continually striving to integrate responsible investing practices into their suite of investment solutions from ethical to sustainable and even non-screened funds and in the process, generate sustainable long-term growth for our customers.

Flexing responsible muscles

In 2008, RLAM became a signatory to the United Nations backed-Principles of Responsible Investing and was an early signatory to the UK Stewardship Code. This has led to RLAM adopting a long term commitment to making responsible investing business as usual.

In July 2013, Royal London acquired The Co-op Asset Management which has over 25 years' experience of running sustainable funds. Sustainable investment draws upon the experience of being a responsible investor and this style of investing could be a source of superior and sustained returns for the sustainable funds.

Being a responsible investor means serving as a good steward of assets and promoting responsible investment with stakeholders. It also means aiming to generate sustainable, risk-adjusted returns that reflect a wider understanding of what will drive economic performance in the future.

RLAM's interest is in innovative and growing companies delivering products or services that benefit society and in those companies leading their industries in ESG (environmental, social and governance) performance and embedding this fully within the wider investment process.

Isn't this just another marketing term for 'ethical'?

Sustainable investing is very different to ethical investing. Ethical funds negatively screen certain sectors and industries such as tobacco, alcohol and animal testing. Sustainable funds serve as a product of responsible investing and invest in those companies that are well positioned to benefit from products and services that help solve major environmental and social challenges.

Putting these issues at the forefront of the investment process and embedding within the culture of a fund management company can generate stronger returns within a responsible framework. Does this reflect the future of investing? Time will tell but at Royal London, we're acting now.

About the author

Ryan Medlock

Investment Proposition Manager

Ryan’s remit includes speaking investment matters at adviser events, regularly contributing to Royal London websites and trying to beat his colleagues in the fantasy fund manager competition.

Last updated: 15 Dec 2015

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The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered in England and Wales number 99064. Registered office: 55 Gracechurch Street, London EC3V 0RL.