Insurance Asset Risk Awards 2022 - UK & Europe

Stewardship initiative of the year - Aviva Investors

Aviva Investors has won the stewardship initiative of the year, with the judges making particular note of "a clearly articulated strategy with evidence of successful engagement including with governments".

The affiliated manager describes engagement and voting to call out poor business practices and promote sustainable ones, to better understand a business's strategy and governance – thus reducing risk – as a vital part of its investment process across a range of asset classes.

Aviva Investors noted its climate engagement escalation programme (CEEP) targeting 30 significant emitters in the expectation better practices by them, as a result of engagement, will trickle down.

In CEEP's first year there were at least 93 cases of companies changing practices aligned to requests Aviva Investor made. While not automatically wholly attributed to the CEEP, the manager still welcomed the progress.

Award judges noted the application of CEEP to sovereigns, as Aviva Investors wrote to central bank heads in 21 countries – 14 emerging, seven developed - whose debt it holds most prominently, or where pre-existing relationships allow for leverage.

The manager wants progress on the Paris Agreement and finance ministers to deliver ambitious nationally-determined actions; joining and engaging with the Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System; and with the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action.

Ukraine, for one, acted, and noted Aviva Investors' actions were a key reason they did so, while central banks in Peru and the Dominican Republic joined the coalition of national banks, too.

Aviva Investors expressed satisfaction for a job well done, but adds "the work continues".