Sustainable investments

Sustainability is important, not only to us at SEB but also to our customers and society. For us it is about making better investment decisions and protecting our customers’ money. 

SEB is one of the largest institutional investors in the Nordic region with SEK 1,699 billion in assets under management for private, corporate and institutional clients. We invest in businesses that actively manage the environmental, social and governance aspects of their business as we believe they will be more successful over time and that this will add value for our customers, the companies we invest in and for society.

Our philosophy

SEB aims to integrate sustainability aspects into all types of investments and in all asset classes, to meet customers' expectations and to contribute to the development of a sustainable society. The investment strategies are based on continuous engagement with the companies that SEB invests in and on including companies that perform well in sustainability or have well defined plans for a transition. In addition, companies that do not abide by SEB’s sustainability criteria are excluded.

Our investment philosophy is based on continuously influencing the market, inclusion through positive selection and exclusion based on negative screening. Read more about how we exclude, include and influence here.

Raised sustainability level

During 2018 SEB further raised the level of sustainability in its own funds. At year-end, 30 (25) per cent, SEK 188bn, were managed according to SEB’s most stringent sustainability criteria. In SEB’s Strategy Funds about two thirds of the funds’ assets adhere to its most stringent sustainability criteria. Of SEB’s total assets under management, 11 (8.6) per cent were managed according to the same criteria. SEB offers more than 20 funds with a clear sustainability profile, and the customer demand for this category of products is increasing.

 

PRI signatory 

SEB is a signatory of the PRI since 2008 and has since then reported yearly on how SEB complies with the six PRI principles. In PRI’s grading of sustainable investments 2018, SEB received an A rating, which is an important confirmation of SEB’s work within sustainable investments. SEB Life & Pension has signed the PRI as an asset owner. Adding the asset-owner perspective gives SEB access to new collaboration forums and the possibility to pursue sustainability issues with other capital owners and make demands on external investment managers.

Evaluation of external funds

Mutual funds from suppliers other than SEB (external funds) are evaluated by a special fund analysis team. The sustainability analysis process was implemented in 2017 with a focus on analysing how fund companies integrate sustainability into their investment processes.

During 2018, the sustainability analysis of all the funds in the offering continued. At year-end 2018, 46 funds out of a total of about 65 had been analysed and assigned a sustainability rating of A to C, where A is the highest rating.

Impact investing

SEB is one of the largest microfinance fund managers in Europe. By investing in microfinance institutions, investors can earn a return while making a social impact. Through some 60 microfinance institutions, SEB’s microfinance funds offer loans to people with lower income in developing countries, people who are often excluded from the financial market. SEB manages 6 microfinance funds with a total value of around SEK 7bn, reaching more than 23 million entrepreneurs in about 50 developing countries.

In 2018, SEB broadened the impact investing offering with the SEB Impact Opportunity Fund. This fund has a broad investment universe of which many areas, such as energy, financial inclusion, education and agricultural development, are directly linked to the UN’s SDGs. The fund has been developed in close collaboration with a few institutional investors and has no set maturity date which allows the fund to work more long-term with selected projects.