Investment Week reveals winners of Sustainable & ESG Investment Awards 2021

Ceremony on 30 September

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Investment Week is pleased to congratulate the winners of the Sustainable & ESG Investment Awards 2021, in association with BMO Global Asset Management.

The winners were announced during a virtual awards ceremony on 30 September and you can watch the show again on demand above. You can view the finalists again here.

Building on the proud 15-year history of these awards, Investment Week introduced a number of new categories and extended our judging panel this year to better reflect the huge growth in this area of the market and the main interests of our readers. 

This year we were pleased to introduce new categories including: Best Sustainable & ESG Portfolio Range, Best Sustainable & ESG Research Paper, Best Sustainable & ESG Investment Initiative, Best Sustainable & ESG Thematic Fund and a number of awards to reward innovation in the space. 

Investment Week invited submissions for the awards earlier this year. Depending on the category, entrants for the awards had to provide detailed information to the judging panel to demonstrate their strength in areas including: performance record and meeting their sustainable & ESG objectives; how they incorporate sustainability and ESG considerations into their investment processes; team structure and support; meeting investor needs, as well as wider global impact; client communications and reporting; examples of effective engagement; thought leadership; incorporating new ideas & innovation; and taking the lead on wider industry initiatives. 

The entries were then judged by a panel of sustainable and ESG investment experts drawn from across the industry. We were also pleased to welcome a number of new judges to the panel this year. To view the judging panel click here

In this year's group awards, the accolade for Best Sustainable & ESG Fund Management Group of the Year (AUM over £20bn) went to Robeco.  The judges described this winning group as industry leaders who live and breathe sustainable investing, with a different approach in a lot of areas versus other groups. They praised their excellent sustainable fund ranges, fantastic research, their work leading the way in terms of advocacy and engagement, as well as strong educational support for investors. 

Meanwhile, WHEB Asset Management was the winner of the Best Sustainable & ESG Fund Management Group of the Year (AUM under £20bn) category.  

The judges said this group is a pioneer that continues to build out its expertise and client offering. They said the impact engine sounds like a very strong evolution for a firm that already has a good pedigree in the impact space. They have fantastic interactive tools which investors of all kinds can relate to and the group has also shown very good industry participation & thought leadership, according to the judges.  

Finally, the award for Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable and ESG Investing went to Simon Bond, director of responsible investment portfolio management at Columbia Threadneedle Investments.   

This year, Investment Week wanted to recognise Simon as a pioneer in this space in conceiving and developing social bond funds. He has helped to drive the development of a green, sustainability and social credit market during his career, including the issuance of the UK's first green sovereign bond. 

In addition to managing portfolios, Simon is serving on the working group of the International Capital Markets Association that developed and published the Social Bond Principles, and the Advisory Council of the Impact Investing Institute since inception.  

He is passionate about social investing and has set the foundations for an exciting expansion in this area of the market at a time when the ‘S' in ESG in gaining greater prominence than ever before following the fallout from Covid-19. 

For more information on the awards click here.

Sustainable and ESG Investment Awards 2021 winners


Best Sustainable & ESG Research & Ratings Provider

Winner: Sustainalytics


Best Sustainable & ESG Research Team

Winner: AllianceBernstein Sustainable Thematic Equities Team

Highly commended: Responsible Investments Team at Nordea Asset Management


Best Sustainable & ESG Support Services Provider or Consultancy 

Winner: SRI Services


Best Sustainable & ESG Thought Leadership Paper

Winner: Aviva Investors with AIQ The Climate Edition 

Highly commended: GIB Asset Management with Unlocking Humanitarian and Resilience Investing through Better Data


Best Sustainable and ESG Research Paper

Winner: Robeco with Sustainable voting behaviour of asset managers: do they walk the walk?


Best Sustainable & ESG Investment Initiative

Winner: DWS, AMX, Minerva Analytics, Northern Trust: Pooled Split Voting Initiative 

Highly commended: HSBC Asset Management / HSBC Pollination Climate Asset Management joint venture


Best Sustainable & ESG Wealth Manager/DFM Group

Winner: EQ Investors

Highly commended: Tribe Impact Capital 


Most Innovative Sustainable & ESG Fund Launch

Winner: Schroder BSC Social Impact Trust


Best Impact Equity Fund:

Winner: Montanaro Better World Fund

Highly commended:  FP WHEB Sustainability Fund 


Best Sustainable & ESG Equity Fund 

Winner: Liontrust SF Global Growth Fund


Best Sustainable & ESG Bond Fund: 

Winner: AllianceBernstein Sustainable Global Thematic Credit Fund

Highly commended: Rathbone Ethical Bond Fund


 Best Environmental / Climate Change Fund

Winner: Aviva Investors Climate Transition European Equity Fund


Best Sustainable & ESG Thematic Fund

Winner: Wellington Emerging Market Development Fund 

Highly commended: RobecoSAM Smart Energy Equities Fund and Vontobel Fund - Clean Technology Fund


Best Sustainable & ESG Alternative Assets Fund

Winner: Gresham House Energy Storage Fund plc


Best Sustainable & ESG Multi-Asset Fund

Winner: Liontrust SF Managed Fund


Best Sustainable & ESG Portfolio Range

Winner: Pictet Asset Management Thematic Equities 

Highly commended: Tribe multi-theme portfolios


Best Sustainable & ESG Index Provider

Winner: FTSE Russell, an LSEG business


Best Sustainable and ESG ETF

Winner: Franklin Liberty Euro Green Bond UCITS ETF 


Most Innovative Sustainable & ESG ETF Launch

Winner: Rize Sustainable Future of Food UCITS ETF

Highly commended: BNP Paribas Easy ECPI Global ESG Blue Economy UCITS ETF


Best Sustainable & ESG Fund Management Group of the Year (AUM under £20bn)

Winner: WHEB Asset Management

Highly commended: Montanaro Asset Management


Best Sustainable & ESG Fund Management Group of the Year (AUM over £20bn)

Winner: Robeco


Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable & ESG Investing 

Winner: Simon Bond, director of responsible investment portfolio management at Columbia Threadneedle Investments

(Simon is pictured below with a statue of philanthropist George Peabody. At the start of his career, the first entity he analysed was Peabody Trust Housing Association leaving him with the lasting impression that you can do good for society and still deliver financial returns. Peabody's legacy inspires him to this day.) 

We would like to offer our congratulations to all the winners! 

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