Client survey endorses ethical investment approach

We believe investors in our ethical funds are best served by screening which is as clear and unambiguous as possible. Although our approach has remained broadly consistent for over 30 years, we have successfully evolved our policies to incorporate new ethical issues as they have arisen.


We formally review our ethical screening every two years. In the first quarter of 2023 we asked ethical investors and their advisers for their feedback on our approach to ethical screening.





Download a copy of the survey report >>





73% of respondents are already investing in our ethical funds or are advising clients who do so.


The results demonstrated strong support for our current approach to screening across our range of ethical funds. Across the 12 ethical screening categories there was an average of 65% for retaining the current approach.


With regards to areas where there is a desire for changing our screening criteria, 66% of respondents supported increased restrictions around tobacco. Tobacco has been a sector under question for many years. No tobacco producers are permitted within our ethical funds, although there may be potential to further tighten restrictions around companies which are exposed to tobacco through the distribution or packaging of these products.


There were two areas where a sizeable minority of respondents expressed a desire for less stringent restrictions on the nuclear power industry and genetic engineering. We have relaxed restrictions in these areas in the past and will continue to monitor these sectors closely.


We specifically asked if investors would be comfortable owning gas infrastructure assets that we believe are key to the supply of an important transition fuel to end markets. The results were clearly in favour of ‘yes’, with 73% supporting this. As a result, we propose to retain our current policy. We will however revisit this in future surveys.


Commenting on the results, Miranda Beacham (pictured), Head of ESG - Equity and Multi-Asset at Aegon AM, said:


“We believe it is good practice to formally review our approach to screening every few years. This helps to ensure that our ethical investment funds can reflect changes in society and remain relevant to the needs of our clients. We are really encouraged by the insights from clients in the latest survey and I would like to thank all respondents for sharing their views.”

Author: Aegon Asset Management
Published On: 25/05/2023
Minute Read: 5