Ethical Finance Awards 2023

Ethical Finance Awards 2023 Wealth & Finance 11. Mar23111 Best Sustainable Investment Company 2023 - Belgium Brussels-based company KBC Asset Management (KBC AM) is a pioneer in the world of sustainable investment. The company, a subsidiary of KBC, launched its first responsible investment fund in 1992. Since then, KBC AM has continued to refine its methodology as it brings new solutions to market. We find out more as we chat with KBC AM’s Head of Product Management Funds, Ellen Jult. -Leading the way in responsible investing, KBC AM is committed to helping its clients combine their financial goals with their concerns for the environment, society, and responsible corporate governance. As more of us become aware of the impact our investments can have on both people and the planet, the more we are drawn to making a positive contribution. Offering a selection of over 200 sustainable and responsible funds to its clients, KBC AM gives its clients the opportunity to invest in companies and countries that take their social and environmental responsibility seriously. Ellen says, “This allows us to contribute to a more sustainable society, and to help limit the adverse impact of business. Growing awareness of social, governance, and environmental issues has led to an interest in responsible investing products among both private and institutional investors.” Currently, KBC AM manages 32 billion euros in Responsible Investing (RI) funds. In Belgium, around 70% of the company’s gross sales in funds go to RI funds. In the other countries in which KBC AM operates, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Bulgaria, RI funds are gaining traction too. KBC AM was the first Belgian financial institution to form its own responsible investing research unit. For over 30 years, the company has adapted its sustainability policies to changing insights to refine its products and cement its position in the market. Ellen explains recent changes: “Over the past five years, KBC AM has strengthened its policies by taking into account increasing insight into how using fossil fuels impacts the planet. Last year we implemented a new investment policy for responsible funds. It offers an appropriate response to the new European regulations putting us ahead of our main competitors.” With sustainability at the core of KBC AM’s business, it has become an integral part of corporate strategy. Ellen tells us about the four pillars of that strategy: “We put our clients at the heart of everything we do. We look to offer our clients a unique bank insurance experience. We focus on our group’s long-term development and aim to achieve sustainable and profitable growth. And we take our responsibility towards society and local economies very seriously. We’re convinced that our strategy – powered by our business culture and the contributions made by our people – is instrumental in earning, keeping, and growing trust day by day. It’s helped us to become ‘the reference’ in our core markets today.” By implementing a sustainability strategy that focuses on local communities and the economy, KBC AM is able to respond to societal needs and expectations in a balanced, relevant, and transparent manner. Making investing easy, personal, valuable, and reliable for its clients, the company stays true to its motto, ‘everyone invested, all the time.’ With a strong focus on digitisation, KBC AM removes roadblocks for retail investors by providing online investment tools, lowering investment thresholds and offering incentives such as a digital service to easily invest your spare change. For its wealth clients, KBC AM has developed a smart advisory search engine to complete in-depth daily analysis of portfolios against 108 underlying risk and return factors. Always striving for innovation, KBC AM is exploring various routes to improve its services and stay one step ahead of the competition. Ellen says, “We’re working on further simplifying our offerings to create smoother transitions for the investor. We’re looking into new opportunities to use AI in the management of our mutual funds. And we’re exploring the possibility of offering an investment fund based on green bonds. This will give our investors even more choice when they decide to contribute to the world of tomorrow.” Contact: Ellen Jult Company: KBC Asset Management Web Address: