ESG Competition Finalists Announced, $90 Million in Assets on the Table

Eleven finalists illustrate a rising tide of ESG sophistication among asset managers amidst continued waves of uncertainty

[Montreal, QC – May 11, 2022] – Today, the investors behind The Great Canadian ESG Championship revealed the list of finalists who will compete for a share of a $90 Million investment management mandate.

From a pool of sixty proposals, eleven candidates emerged as top competitors based on their ESG and financial performance scores, assessed by expert validators Millani and Normandin Beaudry respectively. The list includes some of Canada’s most well-established asset management firms as well as smaller and emerging groups.

On June 2nd the finalists will go head-to-head in a live event, where they will present and defend their proposals in front of a panel of responsible investment experts including Barbara Zvan, Andrea Moffat, Daniel Simard. 

What’s clear from this competition is that Canada’s largest asset managers are channelling significant resources to create and articulate ESG options,” says Eric St-Pierre, executive director of the Trottier Family Foundation, the convening investor behind the competition.

The finalists stood out for their ability to clearly communicate their ESG integration strategies, while demonstrating strong financial performance.

The strength and diversity of the proposals we received speak to the rapid adoption of ESG,” says St-Pierre, “however the inconsistency of labels and the inability to account for positive impacts reveals the ongoing challenges of the industry’s transition.”

Jean-Grégoire Morand, Partner at Normandin Beaudry agrees. “Especially in the absence of common labels and frameworks, there are tough questions a paper process alone cannot answer. Chief among them is the question of how a firm’s ESG strategy equates to real-world impact,” says Morand. “The easiest thing firms can do is set up a negative screen to exclude risky ESG investments. It’s much harder to explain and demonstrate the value of impact investing.”

“Separating “the best” from “the rest” requires real conversations,” says Millani founder, Milla Craig. “We need to take a deeper dive, not only into the funds, but the firms as well. That’s why the next stage of the process—the public competition—is so critical. It will provide the opportunity to dig beneath the surface to determine which firms are the best match for the nine co-investors and the high ESG bar they have set.”

The event on June 2nd is designed to really pull back the curtain,” says St-Pierre. “It’s a unique opportunity for investors and all Canadians to see what makes different ESG approaches tick and learn what questions they need to ask when evaluating options.”

At the conclusion of the public competition, the expert panel will share their feedback for each asset category. Winners will be officially announced in September following a due diligence period. Visit www.esgchampionship.ca to register for the live event and to follow the competition.

List of Finalists

Category 1: Equity and Fixed income

  • AlphaFixe Capital
  • Lazard Asset Management
  • MacKenzie Investments
  • Schroders Investment Management

Category 2: Alternatives

  • PenderFund Capital Management
  • Portland Investment Counsel
  • UBS Asset Management

Category 3: Multi-assets

  • Fiera Capital
  • Jarislowsky, Fraser Limited/Scotiabank
  • Rally Assets
  • RBC Global Asset Management/PH&N Institutional

About The Great Canadian ESG Championship

Inspired by the UK’s “ESG Investing Olympics,” nine Canadian co-investors (Trottier Family Foundation, the Concordia University Foundation, the Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission, the Foundation of Greater Montreal, the Sitka Foundation, the Consecon Foundation, the McConnell Foundation and two private trusts), have put forward $90M to invest with asset managers who demonstrate the most robust ESG investment approaches within three asset classes: equity and/ or fixed income, alternatives, and multi-asset.

To Learn More:

www.esgchampionship.ca
#ESGChampionship

Media Inquiries and Interviews:

English:
Erin Cudmore
Argyle PR
416-575-2189
ecudmore@argylepr.com

French:
Marie-Eve St-Onge
Copticom
514-601-5504
mestonge@copticom.ca

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