BNP Paribas Wealth Management has passed the €1bn ($1.3bn) mark for the amount of client funds placed by the bank in socially responsible investments (SRI) six years after starting investments in the sector.

The world’s seventh largest private bank said there was a growing desire among their clients to support sectors which have considerable social and environmental value.

The amount invested in SRI funds represents 0.39% of the €257bn assets under management at BNP Paribas Wealth Management.


Range of SRI funds

SRI investments at BNP Paribas WM range from those best in class funds, to impact and themed funds.

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Best in class funds focus on companies where environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria are taken into account to impact funds. The bank experts have developed a grading system which considers criteria such as the transparency on the investment process and the nature of the issues that are covered by the extra-financial analysis.

Impact funds are those that take into consideration the social and environmental impact of the investments.

Themed funds are those that focus on microfinance projects, social enterprise, water treatment or energy efficiency goals.


BNP makes own-account investment

The bank also makes own-account investments in a number of SRI funds including ‘ResponsAbility’ fund, which supports microfinance in developing countries, and PhiTrust Partenaires, which invests in social enterprises in Europe and Africa.

The extra-financial impact of these investments by PhiTrust Partenaires has generated 495 disabled jobs and 1.812 socially inclusive jobs in the supported companies. It also helped to fund 61,878 micro-entrepreneurs and gave 21,130 individuals access to clear energy.

"This milestone is key for BNP Paribas Wealth Management. We consider this offer as a core one to answer our clients demands; it also demonstrates our concrete commitment to socially responsible investment", said Thibault Couturier, head of alternative and passion investments for BNP Paribas Wealth Management.