September 7, 2021 (Amsterdam/Zug) – APG Asset Management in collaboration with analytics and index provider Qontigo and asset manager BlackRock, have announced the launch of the iSTOXX APG World Responsible Investment Indices (iSTOXX APG RI Index Family). The iSTOXX APG World Responsible Low-Carbon SDI Index will be used for a Sustainable Development Investments (SDI) mandate managed by APG Asset Management in collaboration with BlackRock, with an initial investment of approximately EUR 1 billion.
The indices were built using APG’s data sets, including one derived from the Sustainable Development Investments Asset Owner Platform (SDI AOP) representing investors managing over EUR 1.1 trillion. Founded in 2019, this platform – that is open to any institutional investor globally – aims to help accelerate investment aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by providing common definitions, taxonomy and high-quality data sources. It is the first time that the SDI AOP data are used to build investable indices.
The development of the iSTOXX APG RI Index Family is a clear result of APG’s and its pension funds clients’ ambition to steer increasing amounts of capital towards solutions contributing to the SDGs. It aligns with the objectives of pension fund clients who have set clear goals as to what extent their investments need to contribute to the SDGs.
APG is a leading long-term responsible investor. To maintain that leading position worldwide, APG wants to excel in aligning its portfolio with responsible investment (RI) ambitions and continue to set standards globally, together with like-minded peers. APG aims to promote ESG thought leadership inside and outside of its organization. This includes investing in the SDGs, extending the SDI platform, focusing on ensuring RI contributes to better returns, and aligning its portfolio with the Paris Climate Agreement.
“Pension funds often ask why indices are a good solution when wanting to invest responsibly. Asset managers who are leading in responsible investing can meet this growing demand for tailored, sustainability-based index products that contribute to the SDGs and other ESG goals. APG keeps these ESG metrics relevant, inspired by the fast-growing ambitions of our clients. Our aim is to contribute to a global standard for investing in SDGs, and these new responsible SDI indices reflect this goal.”Ronald van Dijk – Managing Director at APG Asset Management
Using the iSTOXX World-A Index, a World Developed Markets Index, as the starting universe, the indices incrementally ‘layer in’ specific ESG filters (Exclusions, ESG Leaders, Carbon and SDI) allowing APG to measure and report on the impact on return and risk budget (measured by tracking error) for each of the individual criteria.
The five customized indices launched are:
- iSTOXX APG World-X Index
- iSTOXX APG World Responsible Index
- iSTOXX APG World Responsible Low-Carbon Index
- iSTOXX APG World Responsible SDI Index
- iSTOXX APG World Responsible Low-Carbon SDI Index
Qontigo’s suite of Axioma portfolio solutions were used to build the STOXX indices. Optimizing for tracking error while constraining for unintended exposures, such as sector, regional and factor biases is pivotal to the overall strategy. Core to the objective is the SDI and Carbon Reduction Pathway – APG’s plan to reduce the carbon footprint of its investments and to align with its 2025 sustainable investment targets.
“When targeting the multiple objectives required to pursue sustainable pathways, index portfolio construction becomes an increasingly important part of the picture. The partnership with APG on data and index design is a great example of how we work together with our clients to create sustainable, scalable index-based investment solutions, using innovative approaches. We are thrilled to work with APG to deliver the first investable indices using data derived from the SDI AOP dataset.”Hamish Seegopaul, Managing Director for R&D ESG and Quantitative Indices, Qontigo
The indices will initially be used for an SDI mandate managed by APG for two existing APG clients who aim to double their investments in the SDGs by 2025. The APG Fund for Joint Account is based on the iSTOXX APG World Responsible Low-Carbon SDI Index and the investment portfolio is managed by BlackRock on a day-to-day basis. In addition to these indices, investors have complete flexibility to opt for a tailor-made index that aligns with their own responsible investment strategy.
“We are pleased to partner with APG and Qontigo in developing and managing this cost efficient, transparent and customized STOXX index solution. APG has been at the forefront of asset owners globally seeking to use their investments to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Managing such a sustainability-driven mandate requires close coordination, detailed risk management and scale. We believe this flexible, data-led approach holds great promise to become the standard as the investment industry continues to convert its responsible investment ambitions to concrete actions.”Monique Donders, Country Head BlackRock Netherlands
- Lot Folgering – Spokesperson APG
+31 6 10 82 12 78 or email@example.com
- Andreas von Brevern – Spokesperson Qontigo
+49 69 2 11 14284 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Julian van de Wetering – Spokesperson BlackRock
+31 6 15 37 76 90 or email@example.com
Note to editors: Photos of company spokespersons quoted are available on request.
As the largest pension provider in the Netherlands APG is responsible for the pensions of 4.7 million participants. APG provides executive consultancy, asset management, pension administration, pension communication and employer services. We work for pension funds and employers in the sectors of education, government, construction, cleaning, housing associations, sheltered employment organizations, medical specialists, and architects. APG Asset Management manages approximately €613 billion (July 2021) pension assets. With approximately 3,000 employees we work from Heerlen, Amsterdam, Brussels, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. www.apg.nl
Qontigo is a leading global provider of innovative index, analytics and risk solutions that optimize investment impact. As the shift toward sustainable investing accelerates, Qontigo enables its clients—financial-products issuers, capital owners and asset managers—to deliver sophisticated and targeted solutions at scale to meet the increasingly demanding and unique sustainability goals of investors and asset owners worldwide.
Qontigo’s solutions are enhanced by both our collaborative, customer-centric culture, which allows us to create tailored solutions for our clients, and our open architecture and modern technology that efficiently integrate with our clients’ processes.
Part of the Deutsche Börse Group, Qontigo was created in 2019 through the combination of Axioma, DAX and STOXX. Headquartered in Eschborn, Germany, Qontigo’s global presence includes offices in New York, London, Zug and Hong Kong. www.qontigo.com
BlackRock’s purpose is to help more and more people experience financial well-being. As a fiduciary to investors and a leading provider of financial technology, we help millions of people build savings that serve them throughout their lives by making investing easier and more affordable. For additional information on BlackRock, please visit www.blackrock.com/corporate
About SDI AOP
Consisting of APG, AustralianSuper, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation and PGGM, we are an asset owner-led platform committed to accelerating investments into the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Powered by artificial intelligence combined with human intelligence, we have developed a standard for investing into the SDGs. The standard and its underlying data are available to the market through analytics and index provider Qontigo and can be integrated into any investment process. A shared understanding of what constitutes Sustainable Development Investments (SDIs) can greatly enhance engagement with companies, regulators and other stakeholders. Companies and investors alike can use the standard in their disclosures in relation to the SDGs. www.sdi-aop.org
This press release does not constitute an offer or an invitation to subscribe to (i) units in a collective investment undertaking or (ii) an investment service and is not issued to test the interest in a collective investment undertaking or an investment service.
STOXX Ltd., Qontigo GmbH, Qontigo Index GmbH, Deutsche Boerse Group and their licensors, research partners or data providers do not make any warranties or representations, express or implied, with respect to the timeliness, sequence, accuracy, completeness, currentness, merchantability, quality or fitness for any particular purpose of its index data and exclude any liability in connection therewith. STOXX, Qontigo GmbH, Qontigo Index GmbH, Deutsche Boerse Group and their licensors, research partners or data providers are not providing investment advice through the publication of indices or in connection therewith. In particular, the inclusion of a company in an index, its weighting, or the exclusion of a company from an index, does not in any way reflect an opinion of STOXX, Qontigo GmbH, Qontigo Index GmbH, Deutsche Boerse Group or their licensors, research partners or data providers on the merits of that company. Financial instruments based on the STOXX® indices, DAX® indices or on any other indices supported by STOXX are in no way sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by STOXX, Qontigo GmbH, Qontigo Index GmbH, Deutsche Boerse Group or their licensors, research partners or data providers.
Capital at risk. The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and are not guaranteed. Investors may not get back the amount originally invested.
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of current or future results and should not be the sole factor of consideration when selecting a product or strategy.
Changes in the rates of exchange between currencies may cause the value of investments to diminish or increase. Fluctuation may be particularly marked in the case of a higher volatility fund and the value of an investment may fall suddenly and substantially. Levels and basis of taxation may change from time to time.
This material is for distribution to Professional Clients (as defined by the Financial Conduct Authority or MiFID Rules) only and should not be relied upon by any other persons.
UK and non-EEA countries
Issued by BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office: 12 Throgmorton Avenue, London, EC2N 2DL. Tel: + 44 (0)20 7743 3000. Registered in England and Wales No. 02020394. For your protection telephone calls are usually recorded. Please refer to the Financial Conduct Authority website for a list of authorised activities conducted by BlackRock.
Issued by BlackRock (Netherlands) B.V. is authorised and regulated by the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets. Registered office Amstelplein 1, 1096 HA, Amsterdam, Tel: 31-20-549-5200. Trade Register No. 17068311 For your protection telephone calls are usually recorded.
Any research in this document has been procured and may have been acted on by BlackRock for its own purpose. The results of such research are being made available only incidentally. The views expressed do not constitute investment or any other advice and are subject to change. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any company in the BlackRock Group or any part thereof and no assurances are made as to their accuracy.
This document is for information purposes only and does not constitute an offer or invitation to anyone to invest in any BlackRock funds and has not been prepared in connection with any such offer.
© 2021 BlackRock, Inc. All Rights reserved. BLACKROCK, BLACKROCK SOLUTIONS, iSHARES, BUILD ON BLACKROCK and SO WHAT DO I DO WITH MY MONEY are trademarks of BlackRock, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and elsewhere. All other trademarks are those of their respective owners.
 The iSTOXX APG World Responsible Investment Indices (iSTOXX APG RI Index Family) are calculated and maintained by STOXX Ltd., who is the Administrator of the iSTOXX APG RI Index Family under Regulation (EU) 2016/1011 specifically for the use by APG Asset Management N.V..