MAPFRE has become the majority shareholder in the French boutique fund manager La Financière Responsable (LFR) with the purchase of another block of shares, bringing its holding to 51 percent of the capital. It has thus doubled down in the French mutual fund market and specifically with regard to its commitment to socially responsible investing (SRI).
The insurance group had already acquired a 25 percent stake at the end of 2017, in what was the first transaction by a Spanish management company with a foreign firm in the industry. Given the positive progress made since the agreement and the excellent understanding between the two firms, MAPFRE has now decided to take another step forward. “Since 2017, we have been committed to sustainable investment, and LFR has nearly 25 years of experience in this industry. In the past five years, we have launched SRI products jointly, a unique characteristic of which is that they make use of a proprietary methodology for the final selection of the securities that make up the funds’ portfolios, something that is highly valued by our clients,” says José Luis Jiménez, group chief investment officer at MAPFRE
One of the star funds that has emerged from this alliance is the MAPFRE Inclusión Responsable fund, which was cited as an example of best practices by the United Nations. The fund comprises portfolios that incorporate those companies most committed to labour inclusion of people with disabilities. Another example is the MAPFRE AM Capital Responsable fund, another Article 8 mutual fund in the ESG category (investments that comply with environmental, social and governance criteria), which just received a five-star rating from Quantalys, one of the most prestigious independent analysis firms in the market
LFR, which manages assets of nearly 650 million euros, will continue the same operations with its customers and maintain the same brand. “Since 2017, the MAPFRE and LFR teams have been working together to develop an excellent relationship and level of cooperation that benefit the clients of both companies. We very much welcome this closer relationship, which is a very important step in broadening the scope of our partnership” explains Olivier Johanet, president of La Financière Responsable. MAPFRE is renewing its confidence in the current teams at LFR to continue building out its investment capacity and grow in the European market with institutional investors, independent financial advisors and other asset managers.
MAPFRE has taken a step further in the internationalization of its asset management business, which it channels through MAPFRE AM..
MAPFRE AM is the largest independent, non-bank fund manager in Spain, with 40 billion euros under management.
MAPFRE AM also has funds registered in the United Kingdom and Malta and will now make a bigger push in the French market.