SEB became a signatory of the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) back in 2008 and has subsequently worked according to the six PRI principles. Over time a large share of asset managers in the world have joined the cause and committed to the principles, which today are regarded somewhat as of a central pillar in responsible asset management.
Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is a UN-supported network that actively works to ensure that asset managers around the world will work with responsible investments and sustainability issues. Every year the organisation arranges the PRI Awards to name the best initiatives by asset managers around the world in five different sustainability categories. The winners will be announced on 1 December in Barcelona.
SEB Investment Management has been nominated in the category “ESG Incorporation Initiative of the Year” based on the proprietary analysis tool that the fund managers use to integrate sustainability aspects in their asset management. With the help of this tool, which is called SIMS-S (SEB Investment Management Sustainability Score), the companies that the fund managers analyse are assigned a sustainability rating. Companies are assessed according to several different factors, such as gender equality, taxonomy-related revenues and SDG contributions, and all these taken together form the basis for the rating.
“SIMS-S is a very important tool in our daily operations, and clearly we are honoured, happy and enthusiastic about our nomination in the PRI Awards,” says Elisabet Jamal Bergström, Head of Sustainability at SEB Investment Management.
Emma Heikensten, senior sustainability specialist at SEB Investment Management, maintains that the model differs from most other ESG tools as it emphasises to a higher degree both opportunities and risks in sustainability and integrates artificial intelligence to measure sentiment.
“The model also puts greater focus on social sustainability aspects, an area that will be affected by both regulatory requirements and geopolitics going forward,” says Emma Heikensten. “SIMS-S includes variables such as representation of women and men, pay differences, sexual harassment, and social impacts of products and services. The model takes into account companies’ current status and their pace of change to include both positive and negative movements.”
A company can receive a score of between 0 and 10, which is adjusted for the region and sector the company is active in. In general, Nordic companies have made greater progress in their sustainability work than companies in many other parts of the world. But there are shortcomings also in the Nordic countries, such as in certain gender equality categories.
Andreas Johansson, head of SEB IM’s quantitative equities management, explains how SIMS-S is used in several ways.
“For example, we use the SIMS-S tool to screen out companies that do not meet our sustainability standards. We also use it to overweight the companies that are best at managing their sustainability risks or where we see great opportunities coupled to sustainable development,” he says.
For certain thematic products, the fund managers use parts of the SIM-S score as a basis for their company selections.
“A good example is our SEB Global Equal Opportunity Fund, which uses specific data to assess how good companies are at practicing equal opportunity. Another example is our SEB Global Climate Opportunity Fund, which uses the climate-related aspects of SIMS-S to select companies that are helping to combat climate change or mitigate the effects of such,” says Andreas Johansson.
Read more about SEB Investment Management´s sustainability approach
Read more about SIMS-S in SEB´s sustainability report (page 12)
Read more about the nomination here: Shortlists for the PRI Awards