Five years of SRI at Financière de l'Echiquier

  • 85% of the stocks currently owned have been rated according to environmental, social and governance criteria.

  • The SRI funds Echiquier Environnement and Echiquier Valeurs Humaines have outperformed their benchmark index by three times.

Paris, October 24th 2012 – Financière de l’Echiquier, one of the largest independent asset management companies in France, has published the results of five years of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI). Since 2007, the company has developed an SRI approach of its own, based on its founding convictions: it includes non-financial criteria in its management method in order to deliver a longer lasting performance.

Since 1991, quality of management has been an essential criteria in Financière de l’Echiquier’s stock-picking method. In 2007, the company chose to go a stage further by including non-financial criteria in the valuation grid for each company in order to establish an environmental, social and governance (ESG) rating. This rating accounts for 40% of the companies’ valuation.

At present, 85% of the stocks owned by the main funds of Financière de l’Echiquier have been attributed a rating. In all, more than 400 European companies have been assessed following interviews undertaken by two-sided teams associating both the SRI team and the manager in charge of the investment case.

Performances delivered by the funds of Financière de l’Echiquier testify to the efficiency of this method. Indeed, Echiquier Major, which is particularly demanding in terms of the non-financial rating on the European large caps that it picks, has gained 60% since it was created vs. 4% for the Stoxx Europe 600.

The same is true of the two SRI “lab funds” launched in 2010, based on Financière de l’Echiquier own equity: Echiquier Environnement, which favours stocks whose environmental policy seems to be the most pro-active and Echiquier Valeurs Humaines, which selects stocks whose social policy is qualified as remarkable. Both funds have outperformed their benchmark index (the Stoxx Europe 600) by three times.

Marie-Christine Korniloff, Head of SRI at Financière de l’Echiquier, explains: “Financière de l’Echiquier focuses above all on convictions and favours qualitative factors rather than quantitative criteria. By assessing the companies in which we invest, we aim to measure the risk on investments and identify the companies that generate the most value. As such, the SRI approach cannot be dissociated from our management style. It seduces our clients, both institutional and individual, and we continue to deepen it, within a sustainable performance approach”.