It may come as a surprise to many that global asset manager Amundi has been operating in Ireland for over 20 years. Dublin is one of the six global investment hubs of the Amundi group and has 100 front office investment specialists operating from its iconic pyramid offices in the city center.
Since its creation in 1998, its 350 employees, representing 28 nationalities, quietly carry out its activities of one of the first investment companies in the world. And he has no plans to slow down, as chief executive David Harte has said he intends to increase his assets under management by € 10 billion over the next three years.
“In the past, Amundi Ireland was a key investment center for the global parent company and the rest,” he said. “What is different now is that we have launched a retail business, which means the Irish can now invest in Amundi funds. And as Irish clients have access to a knowledgeable and experienced team of on-the-ground investment professionals here, we believe this is a key advantage. “
Globally, Amundi has 100 million customers and 4,800 employees, managing more than 1,800 billion euros in assets. Harte believes the Irish local footprint coupled with impressive global reach and resources, combined with a strong track record in environmental, social and governance investment, is highly attractive to Irish investors.
“ESG investing refers to a class of investment also known as sustainable or responsible investing,” he said. “He is essentially looking for positive returns and a positive long-term impact on society, the environment and the performance of the company. “
Since its creation, Amundi has been a pioneer in this space, long before it became trendy. Indeed, Responsible Investment is one of its four founding pillars. She was a founding signatory of the UN PRI in 2006, which has classified Amundi A + for six years.
Two of the key issues that Amundi favors in its formal engagement actions with companies are the major contemporary issues: energy transition and social cohesion (through the protection of direct and indirect employees and the promotion of human rights).
Amundi Ireland launched its retail division in 2020 and grew from zero to 1.6 billion euros in one year after forging relationships with Irish Life, the country’s largest life insurance company, and a number asset managers and securities brokers.
This business relationship with Irish Life means retirement and savings clients across Ireland can access two of Amundi’s flagship ESG funds for the first time – as Amundi Ireland does not sell directly to the public, but rather through financial brokers.
“The success of our retail business truly demonstrates the desire of Irish investors to access ESG funds, which aim to generate returns while making a positive contribution to society and our planet,” said Harte.
The timing of the launch of the retail division couldn’t be better because, according to Bloomberg Intelligence, demand for ESG assets is growing exponentially, with the market expected to surpass $ 50 trillion by 2025.
In addition, the EU SFDR (Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, applied from March 2021) obliges financial market participants and financial advisers to provide investors with certain ESG information on financial products in order to allow investors to make informed investment decisions based on ESG criteria. The factors.
So, for the most part, financial advisers will soon be forced to approach the area of responsible investing with their clients. As the leading European manager of sustainable funds under SFDR, Amundi is well placed to capitalize on these new regulations and attract new Irish investors.
“This ‘the first of its kind’ regulation should also make it easier for investors to compare ESG products across the market, further increase awareness and help eliminate any ‘greenwashing’ of products,” said Harte.
“Another factor that will help Amundi Ireland to grow its business is the large amount of liquidity currently held in deposits with banks. With the persistence of negative deposit rates, we are starting to see the first signs of an abandonment of liquidity by investors looking to generate positive returns. “
He added that last June, 70% of Amundi’s assets under management, in its open-ended funds ranked by Morningstar, were in the top two quartiles over three and five years.
Harte is also keen to stress that Amundi believes it is essential to ‘speak the word’ and acts in a way that helps people and the planet, and not just in the funds it creates.
“We are proud to have employees of 28 different nationalities working in our Dublin office and we continually strive to hire, recognize and support employees from different cultural backgrounds, ethnicities and genders,” he said. declared.
In addition, Amundi Ireland reforested five hectares with 12,000 native tree species in County Wicklow to help fight climate change and damage to biodiversity. Harte is proud of his team’s efforts to help the local community and the way they worked during the pandemic.
“We greatly appreciate the growth we have achieved within our company in these unprecedented times, and this is due to the support we have received from our customers and the great team we have here in Dublin,” he said. -he declares. “I am very fortunate to work with such talented and committed people.
“In addition to fundraising for good causes such as Barretstown, Dublin Simon Community and Pieta House, they freely volunteer their time to help whenever they can. I am immensely proud of the work they do. My colleagues, through their professionalism and their desire to do good for people and the planet, make Amundi Ireland the success story it is today.
The opinions expressed regarding market and economic trends are those of the author and not necessarily of Amundi Asset Management SAS, and are subject to change at any time depending on market and other conditions. There can be no assurance that any country, market or industry will perform as intended. These opinions should not be taken as investment advice or recommendations. Investing involves risks, including market, political, liquidity and currency risks