2015 – a year of green, social, ethical growth

Corporate responsibility consultant Vigeo has reported that 2015 saw yet more growth in green, social and ethical retail fund sales across Eruope.

The data is contained in its 15th annual issue of the Green, Social and Ethical Funds in Europe study, covering the period June 2014 to June 2015, and published in partnership with Morningstar.

Overall, the region’s SRI fund market grew 8% through the period, with assets under management reaching €136bn, up from €127bn a year earlier. This represents some 1.7% of the overall retail funds market, the study suggests.

The number of funds rose by 26% to 1,204 measured, up from 957 in 2014.

Not all markets saw growth; Belgium (-10%), the UK (-7%) and Germany (-5%) saw contraction in their relevant retail markets. However, France and the Netherlands (4% and 7% respectively) were up.

The four largest markets remain France, the UK, Switzerland and the Netherlands, which account for some 68% of assets.

This year, we observe in Europe
– The four largest markets (France, UK, Switzerland, Netherlands) confirm their leadership, accounting for 68% of European assets. That said, the smaller markets of Spain, Austria and Italy saw gains in assets.

France remains the biggest SRI market in Europe, with some 35% of retail assets, and a skew towards fixed income funds. The UK is the second biggest market, accounting for some 15% of the overall European market.

Equity funds remain more popular overall, with a market share of 52%, against 27% for fixed income funds and 21% for balanced funds. Among the five best performing SRI funds, four are French, the data suggests.

Fouad Benseddik, director of Methodology at Vigeo, said: “SRI continues to represent a form of investment that is dynamic and a forward looking solution. Number of funds, assets under management and players engaged continue to growth which confirm the capacity of SRI to resist to the crisis.”

Vigeo provides consultancy on corporate responsibility across six areas: human rights, human resources, environment, involvement, business behaviour and corporate governance. It offers services via two brands; Vigeo rating, which rates products and services from some 3,000 issuers; and Vigeo enterprise, which conducts global CSR audits and benchmarks on behalf of public and private sector organisations.



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