Big Society Capital has appointed AXA Investment Managers (IM) to manage its treasury portfolio, after a selection process overseen by investor advisors Cambridge Associates.
Following the appointment, AXA IM will seek to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) and social impact objectives into Big Society Capital’s treasury portfolio, so that it can help create social value, without compromising on financial performance in terms of capital protection, liquidity and return generation. AXA IM will take a diversified “buy and maintain” approach, with investment primarily in sterling issuers that address societal challenges. In addition, a buy and maintain approach is seen as suited to a more illiquid, lower return market environment, as it reduces turnover and transaction costs.
Cambridge Associates director of European public investments, manager research, Christine Farquhar, said: “This was not a straightforward mandate, because the treasury and social impact functions are generally regarded as polar opposites. But the approach we developed seeks to deliver Big Society Capital’s twin aims and could have a transformative impact on the social impact investment market if pension funds, foundations and other institutional investors follow Big Society Capital’s example.”