ABN Amro’s Boucher: ‘Real-life consequences are clear’

CIO explains why the firm is preparing to add its name to the NZAM initiative

Christophe Boucher, ABN Amro


Natasha Turner

Big name departures from the Net Zero Asset Managers (NZAM) initiative are sure to make headlines, but it’s rarer these days to hear of firms joining. However, in a few months’ time, ABN Amro Investment Solutions will be doing just that.

Christophe Boucher, CIO of ABN Amro IS, says it’s a natural step in continuing the work the firm is already doing. “We already have a commitment to net zero [the banking group joined the Net Zero Banking Alliance in December last year], so this isn’t a break or rupture, or something new.”

He isn’t fazed by the criticism of the initiative, saying “my analysis of why some asset managers are leaving the group is there is pressure on financial performance and the financial duty for clients linked to the fact that if you are managing the carbon intensity of a portfolio it could lead to active risk. But our view is there is no opposition between financial performance and ESG quality, even though it can be challenging in certain market conditions.”

ABN Amro IS had €18.5bn (£15.9bn) of assets under management as of the end of December last year and a range of 40 strategies covering all asset classes and geographical areas. It offers external funds and sub-advisory funds through exclusive partnerships.

Generational shift

Boucher became CIO at the asset management wing of the Dutch banking group in January this year, although it didn’t signify a major shift in his responsibilities as he had been acting as deputy CIO before that.

Read the full interview in ESG Clarity’s October 2023 digital magazine.

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