La Financière de l’Echiquier launches a UN SDG-focused SICAV
An SRI pioneer in France, La Financière de l’Echiquier (LFDE) has been successfully developing and deploying an original ESG analysis methodology, centred on governance, at the heart of its management process.
LFDE today crosses a new SRI milestone by launching a SICAV invested in European equities selected on the basis of their good ESG practices and the contributions of their businesses in providing direct answers to the challenges of sustainable development. The SICAV’s goal is in this way to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) defined by the United Nations.
A lab fund developed since 2010 holding the French government SRI label, Echiquier ISR will be transformed into a French SICAV (an open-ended investment company) and renamed in the coming weeks to highlight this new ambition. The vehicle will then incorporate the range of European equities actively distributed across the different segments of the company’s customer base.
Unconstrained by criteria of company style or size, the SICAV will be managed by the SRI team led by Sonia Fasolo. As with Echiquier ISR, it will target those companies that have been most successful in aligning their strategic development priorities with their corporate responsibility and, in consequence, obtain the best ESG rating according to LFDE proprietary methodology.
The extra-financial method for selecting stocks to be included in the portfolio is based on a rigorous process according to three steps:
– exclusion of companies negatively contributing to sustainable development goals;
– conviction: all companies in the SICAV investment universe are subject to an ESG evaluation using LFDE’s proprietary methodology. Only those exceeding a minimum threshold shall be considered investable;
– solutions: at least 10% of the revenue of companies selected must be derived from products or services positively contributing to one or more goals.
Through these additional filters, this universe is created in advance of the traditional stock-picking process applied by LFDE’s fund managers over the last 25 years.
The SICAV’s governance will be coherent with the fund management spirit: it will be focused on diversity and include a large majority of independent directors.
Finally, faithful to more than 10 years of LFDE’s philanthropic DNA through the La Financière de l’Echiquier Foundation, the SICAV will also represent a vehicle for solidarity. A portion of the management fees will be paid to the La Financière de l’Echiquier Foundation which intervenes in favour of education and professional integration (SDG 4, 8 and 10).
“By actively contributing to promoting the UN sustainable development goals, LFDE reasserts its commitment to SRI and the conviction that responsible investment creates value for all stakeholders. LFDE’s SRI management has thus entered a new phase: participating in financing companies with a proven positive impact on the sustainable development of our societies. The SDGs provide a framework for institutions, companies and individuals: they offer a new template for analysing companies for stock-pickers like us and new opportunities for engagement with companies in which we invest.” commented Didier Le Menestrel, Chairman & CEO of La Financière de l’Echiquier.
 Socially responsible investment.
 Subject to grant of authorization by the market regulator.
 Since its creation, Echiquier ISR has generated a return of 84.2% (8.7% annualized) with a volatility of 13.30% (at 30/06/2017). Past performance is no guarantee of future results. As such the fund incurs a risk of capital loss and is exposed to different market risks.
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About La Financière de l’Echiquier – www.lfde.com
Created in 1991, La Financière de l’Echiquier is one of France’s leading independent asset management companies with more than €8 billion in assets under management and a team of one hundred employees. LFDE is wholly-owned by its management and employees. Its business: managing savings and financial investments for retail customers, wealth management advisors and institutional customers. LFDE is also present in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Benelux. LFDE has been a signatory of the PRI since 2008 and the Montreal Carbon Pledge since 2017.