Responsible Investing

Responsible Investing

Responsible investment (RI) is an umbrella term that covers various tools and approaches to incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into investment decision-making processes. It may include ESG integration and active ownership as well as dedicated, RI-focused capabilities. Related terms may include sustainable or ESG investing.

At Aegon Asset Management, we are active, engaged and responsible investors. By investing responsibly, we aim to minimize risk and explore new opportunities as we seek to generate value for our clients.

Important Disclosures: This is a summary of the broader approach to responsible investing across the various Aegon Asset Management affiliates.  The activities and processes described herein are not applicable, or not applicable to the same degree, across all affiliates or all strategies. Please refer to the specific strategy books or offering documents as you consider investing with us.


Our responsible investment guiding principles

Responsible investing is a key element of our investment philosophy and process. Our responsible investment principles guide our approach while allowing us to help our clients navigate the responsible investment landscape.

Responsible investing aligns with clients’ interests

As stewards of our clients' capital, we think it's prudent to consider all relevant and material risks and opportunities, including ESG factors, as part of our comprehensive issuer research. With a focus on long-term results, we use responsible investing practices such as ESG integration and active ownership where applicable to support a holistic understanding of the investments we make on behalf of our clients where applicable.


Responsible investing can contribute to long-term value

A growing body of academic research demonstrates that sound ESG practices can enhance corporate financial performance in the long term. This value can manifest itself in the form of lower cost of and access to capital, better operational performance, reduced reputational risks and, in turn, potentially superior long-term returns.

Environmental and social risks are investment risks

Exogenous risks such as natural disasters and pandemics can disrupt industries and threaten business models. Failure to effectively manage such risks can lead to a range of financial, legal and reputational consequences. A company's ability to mitigate such risks can have a profound effect on their ability to create and sustain long-term value.

Integrating ESG factors can help uncover opportunities

We believe that focusing solely on financial metrics may lead to overlooking opportunities. We find that it is quite challenging to analyze future profitability and creditworthiness without considering ESG factors. By considering these factors in our research process, we strive to deliver better investment outcomes and long-term performance.


Active ownership is a key aspect of active management

Our stewardship ambitions extend beyond today's investment opportunity. By leading engagement efforts and exercising shareholder voting rights, we use our voice to help effect positive change consistent with our clients’ objectives. We collaborate with other investors and stakeholders to engage where possible to maximize our voice.

Our Responsible Investment Approach







Building on our rich heritage of responsible investing stretching over 30 years1, we’ve built a comprehensive responsible investment approach.


Through our comprehensive responsible investment activities, we aspire to help our clients pursue better long-term outcomes while contributing to sustainable capital markets and impactful economic activities. 


1Aegon AM UK launched first ethical strategy in 1989.











Responsible Investment Pillars

Our responsible investment approach consists of three pillars: ESG integration, active ownership and solutions.

ESG Integration

Incorporating financially material ESG factors into the research process to help mitigate risk and potentially uncover opportunities.

Active ownership

Addressing ESG issues by actively engaging with issuers and investee companies and exercising shareholder rights.


Providing focused responsible investment strategies such as exclusions, best-in-class ESG, sustainability- themed and impact investments.

For illustrative purposes only. The firm's research teams may incorporate ESG-related factors into their analysis as applicable to their asset class and the output may differ as warranted. Exclusionary screening utilizes negative screening to avoid certain sectors, companies or practices based on specific criteria. Best-in-class ESG seeks to outperform by emphasizing positive screening of issuers with better or improving ESG profiles. Sustainability-themed strategies focus on issuers whose activities or practices are aligned with sustainability themes in an effort to generate competitive returns over the long term. Impact investing pursues financial returns alongside, measurable social and/or environmental impact. Engagement will occur with some, but not all, issuers where the manager deems it appropriate. More information is available upon request.

ESG Integration

We believe responsible investing creates opportunities to generate value and may contribute to long-term outperformance. As a result, ESG factors are systematically integrated into our bottom-up research process for fixed income and equity issuers. By integrating ESG considerations with economic factors, the research teams seek to identify financially material ESG factors and arrive at an independent view of the investment.


  Three key benefits of ESG integration
1. Deepens our knowledge Bringing new aspects to light, providing a more comprehensive view of the investment
2. Strengthens our conviction As fundamental, research-driven investors, it can make us more confident in our decisions
3. Promotes a long-term focus Clearing the short-term noise allows us to focus on long-term and fundamental trends, risks and opportunities


The firm's research teams may incorporate ESG-related factors into their analysis as applicable to their asset class and the output may differ as warranted. The activities and processes described are not applicable, or not applicable to the same degree, across all affiliates or all strategies.

Corporate and Sovereign Credits
Securitized Credit

Active management, active ownership


We believe taking responsibility as an investor also means being a truly active owner, not just as a shareholder but as a financier more broadly.


With a long-term focus, we have built a robust active ownership program that includes exercising shareholder voting rights focused on the best interest of our clients and engaging with issuers in an effort to mitigate ESG risk, to help better understand the opportunities that companies face and encourage more sustainable practices. Our dedicated global Responsible Investment team leads the firm’s active ownership program alongside our portfolio managers.


Active Ownership Policy >>


Active Ownership is not applicable to all asset classes or affiliates





Best-in-class ESG
Impact investing

Climate Change

Climate change is one of the most urgent risks facing the sustainability of our planet, prompting a shift toward zero-carbon, sustainable energy sources. This energy transition has profound implications for investors.

Find out more


All documents

Responsible Investment Framework

(3.18MB) PDF

Active Ownership Policy

(697KB) PDF