Responsible investment is an integral part of our business. Accordingly, our firm has been a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) since 2012.
Optimum Asset Management pursues its responsible investment activities with know-how and leading-edge technology, while applying the principles of prudence and sound risk management.
To fulfill this commitment, our portfolio managers invest responsibly by including environmental, social and governance risk factors – ESG factors – in their security selection process. Moreover, in 2021 we formalized our approach by integrating the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into our selection process. In line with our values and philosophy, we’re convinced that responsible investment leads to better long-term results.
Our managers seek the long-term profitability of the companies in which they invest and, therefore, manage financial and non-financial risks proactively.
Optimum Asset Management wants the companies in which it invests on behalf of its clients to behave as good corporate citizens in the environments where they operate, in other words to act responsibly and to take part in the economic and social life of their communities.
Source: United Nations
A preference for Quebec municipalities
We have a preference for Quebec municipalities because their emissions are often in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Moreover, their bond issues help:
- support local infrastructure that provides key frontline services to communities (ESG impact); and
- create and support thousands of jobs and foster local purchasing and expertise.
Here is a brief summary of the milestones on our journey to meet various sustainability needs and goals. Our initiatives also include education and training not only for our employees but also for our clients and partners.
- OAM becomes a signatory to the UNPRI and establishes its voting policy
- We select GIR as a data supplier
We integrate ESG factors and ratings into our market technology (Nautilus) and also take into account our clients’ investment policies and constraints
We publish our first ESG Annual Report, obtain an audit of best practices by an independent firm, Groupe d’investissement responsable, and publish our Responsible Investment Policy
We establish an ESG Committee led by our Global Chief Investment Officer
We introduce the 17 Sustainable Development Goals into our portfolios as well as related performance metrics
- We establish our long-term vision and positioning
- We evaluate and select a supplier to measure carbon footprints
- We appoint an ESG Investment VP
- We create a working group to advance our client offering
- We launch personalized responsible investment reports so that our institutional clients can track their progress
- We create a panel to consider the next generation of sustainable strategies
Our investment approach is based on the premise that companies that uphold strong corporate governance standards and take their social and environmental responsibilities seriously are more likely to be successful and sustainable.
Our approach is grounded in convictions that allow us to make informed choices based on the following investment themes:
- Low carbon
- Renewable energy
- Public transit and its electrification
- Energy-efficient buildings
- Circular economy
- Water management
- Municipal bonds for their proximity services
A natural integration
It was only natural that we would integrate ESG factors into our investment and risk management process for all client portfolios. We were already recognized as a quantitative firm, so incorporating ESG factors and ratings into our quantitative and market analysis tools further supports our portfolio construction process.
Such integration allows us to better control the risks inherent in our portfolios, given our firm conviction that a company that abides by ESG principles and is active, engaged and responsible can manage its risks effectively and has a better chance of prospering over the long term.
Responsible investment is a major concern for both you and us. In a world faced with challenges such as climate change, increasing inequality and environmental degradation, adopting a sustainable approach that incorporates these issues in the long term, while supporting both current and future generations, is crucial.
Whether you’re an individual investor, a foundation, a pension fund or a financial institution, our goal is to support you on your journey towards more responsible investment, in which financial profitability is aligned with creating a positive impact on society and the environment.
Together, we can contribute to building a sustainable and prosperous future.
As a company, we’ve been proud to be signatories of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) charter since 2012. You can learn more about UNPRI by visiting their website, unpri.org.
That same year, our board of directors also adopted a responsible investment and voting policy. In this way, our company helps encourage issuing companies to adopt best management practices with a perspective of long-term profitability. You can access our policy using the following link.
Disclosure, transparency and accountability
We place great emphasis on informing our clients as best we can about their investments’ financial and societal performance. Our reports are designed to provide a clear and concise vision of a portfolio’s past performance, its characteristics and related risk factors. We then highlight the performance of various indicators tied to our responsible investment strategy.
2022 Socially Responsible Investment Report