Asset Manager Questionnaire

Asset manager accountability is a crucial tool for investors to use in addressing environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities within their portfolios. Without reliable data on practices and outcomes, investors can be vulnerable to marketing techniques and greenwashing. Monitoring performance enables asset owners to understand their managers’ efforts and challenges in implementing ESG policies and priorities.  

But asset owners also have to avoid overloading managers with too many formulaic, slightly different but mandatory questionnaires that don’t get to the point. That’s why, in an effort to enhance transparency, accountability and standardization, a group of Canadian universities began collaborating with SHARE in 2022 to develop a standard, yearly questionnaire for assessing asset manager ESG performance. 

The first iteration of the questionnaire, released in 2023, included four modules covering a range of ESG thematic areas: Organizational Overview; Climate Action and Environmental Sustainability; Human Rights and Decent Work; and Racial Equity and Indigenous Reconciliation. The questionnaire was designed using this modular approach to allow asset owners to tailor their focus to their own priorities. 

After receiving feedback from asset owners and managers, SHARE has developed an updated version of the questionnaire that addresses concerns regarding clarity and ease of use.  

The four modules have been consolidated into one document, with questions re-organized under the functional areas of management, strategy, integration, stewardship, advocacy and partnerships. This consolidation aims to simplify the response process for asset managers and reduce question duplication. 

Baseline expectations for each functional area have been highlighted, with the goal of helping asset owners prioritize a set of answers that most reflect current practice, while demonstrating to asset managers that some questions are aspirational rather than a strict expectation at this stage. 

We have also highlighted questions similar to those within the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) reporting framework. have also been highlighted. This is aimed at reducing redundancy, as some asset managers may be required to report on their ESG-related investment activities through  the PRI or other institutions. 

Investors are encouraged to tailor the questionnaire to their institution’s specific goals and needs. We also welcome feedback from asset owners and managers as we work to make this an essential tool in the investor toolbox. 

Download the updated questionnaire

Asset Manager Questionnaires

You are encouraged to tailor this updated Asset Manager questionnaire to suit your institution’s specific goals and needs. We also welcome feedback from asset owners and managers as we work to make this an essential tool in the investor toolbox.

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Kevin Thomas
Written By:

Kevin Thomas

Kevin Thomas is the Chief Executive Officer of the Shareholder Association for Research and Education. Kevin joined SHARE in 2013 as a Senior Analyst on social issues and became Executive Director in 2018.

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