Taking the long-term view is more important than ever – and that means embracing sustainability in our day-to-day investment decisions, active ownership and reporting practices.
Towards a more responsible form of capitalism
With more than 200 years of investment experience, Pictet is used to taking the long view. In so doing, we consider not just the needs and desires of today’s generation but also those of tomorrow’s. Developing sustainable investment solutions takes foresight, time and stamina. As the world changes, so too must the way we look at investment as a whole.
A growing body of investors, from the professional pension provider to the couple saving for their children's education, expect investment managers to incorporate environmental, social and governance criteria into their decision-making processes, alongside traditional financial metrics.
The investor community is a key force for positive change, driving progress, as well as funding new technologies. Pictet and many of our clients are allocating capital to finance the real economy, with the needs of future generations in mind. We are developing a broader view of what we are investing in, establishing a better, more robust process that can deliver strong sustainable returns.
For Pictet, measuring and sharing the impact of investing is key for bringing the transparency that differentiates true integration from simple box-ticking. To this end, we are concretely integrating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) aspects in our investment processes, risk management and reporting practices, and also upstream in our economic research and financial analysis.
A paradigm shift towards responsible capitalism
The Pictet Group entities integrate sustainability risks in the investment decision-making process, in investment advice and insurance advice for products they actively manage, subject to product and service specificities and to locally applicable regulations. Across research, investment activities, risk management and advisory services, we place emphasis on the inclusion of high-quality environmental, social and governance data when evaluating corporate issuers. To this extent we have developed a proprietary ESG Scorecard that provides a focused view of both ESG risks and opportunities. Our ESG Scorecard is based on a curated set of the most material data points, across four pillars: Corporate Governance, Products & Services, Operational Risks, and Controversies. Similarly, for external-manager selection we systematically address ESG issues with our investment partners and encourage improvements of current practices, if necessary. We have developed a dedicated ESG questionnaire that covers our investment partners’ engagement to ESG, the level of ESG integration in their processes or operations as well as reporting and transparency issues. Bank Pictet & Cie (Europe) AG and branches apply the core tenets of good company ownership, with a focus on the investee company’s corporate strategy, the company’s management team and its effective leadership, its financial strength, its capital structure, the fair valuation of issued securities, sustainability risks & opportunities and adverse impacts of investments on society and/or the environment.
Advocates of responsible investing
Beyond adhering to the industry-leading standard established by third parties, Pictet also uses its influence to forge change. We are committed advocates of responsible investing and want to play an active role by encouraging sustainable finance. The industry must be steered towards more inclusive thinking around people, planet and portfolios, because over the long term, they are inextricably linked. Our advocacy efforts are focused on areas which are particularly material to us, and on which we can bring expertise to provide valuable inputs to our partners.
Responsible products and solutions
Investment solutions – a full spectrum
(1) ESG Factors: ESG data (indicating both risks and opportunities), including sustainability risks and Principal Adverse Impacts where relevant.
(2) Active Ownership: Proxy voting at shareholder meetings, and engagement with issuers and third party fund managers on priority themes (climate, water, nutrition, long-termism) and other material ESG issues, as relevant to the strategy.
(3) Exclusions: Please refer to the RI policies for details on the activities.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to cause humanitarian suffering globally. Our thoughts are with those who are directly impacted. We also remain fully cognizant of and committed to both our fiduciary obligations to our clients as well as our obligations under international law.
As such, the investment teams of Pictet are no longer buyers of – or recommending to buy - Russian assets. Whilst legacy positions are held, which are considerably reduced in value, capital controls mean it is currently nearly impossible to sell existing investments. We want to underline that Pictet does not offer any commercial financing or corporate loans across the board.
This is an evolving situation which we continue to closely monitor and the repercussions of this tragic war remain fluid. We will continue to assess our options carefully in light of international sanctions and our fiduciary obligations to clients. With regards to fossil fuels we are committed to actively support the transition to a low carbon economy and achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2050 or earlier, whilst ensuring that our actions do not provide any means to fund this unwarranted and reprehensible aggression.
The thermal coal mining sector has a limited ability to decarbonise and is at high risk of becoming a stranded asset. We therefore categorically exclude companies that generate significant (i.e. >25%) revenue from all actively managed assets. However, when it comes to driving positive change, we favour engagement over exclusions. Indeed, engagement with issuers is fundamental to our Climate Action Plan, which outlines how Pictet aims to reach net zero, in line with the climate science.
Since 2011, the Pictet Group has enforced a strict exclusion policy on companies involved in controversial weapons for all its actively managed strategies. Such weapons may cause indiscriminate or disproportionate harm and their use is banned or restricted under international conventions*. As part of this commitment, in August 2018, Pictet ― who have a seat on the Board of Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) ― spearheaded a collaborative initiative together with SSF, aimed at removing controversial weapons manufacturers from mainstream indices and benchmarks. If such exclusions became embedded in index-construction rules, it would raise the stakes for those companies involved in such activities and promote greater transparency.
Anti-personnel mines: Ottawa Convention (1999)
Cluster munitions: Oslo Convention (2010)
Biological and chemical weapons: Geneva Protocol of 1925, Biological Weapons Convention (1975), Chemical Weapons Convention (1997)
Nuclear weapons: Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1970)
How Pictet embeds responsible investing
Wealth management ― Aiming to be responsible
By embedding responsible investing aspects at every stage of our value chain, we give our clients a thorough understanding of sustainable issues surrounding the management of their wealth.
Asset management ― A responsible partner
We believe in responsible capitalism and take a holistic view that considers the complex interactions between economy, society and the environment, and are convinced that ESG considerations can help us make better long-term investment decisions for our clients.
Asset services ― Fostering transparency
We are firmly convinced that it is necessary to adopt and promote sustainable investing within our industry. We have therefore included ESG metrics in our reporting practices, both in printed documentation and in our online tool Pictet Connect.