Life insurance: how to sort out the SRI offer?

Investing socially responsible? The temptation is increasingly strong on the side of savers, especially among the new generations. According to a study carried out by the broker Meilleurtaux Placement in January 2022, 34% of French people want to save on ecological investments and even 45% among 25-34 year olds or 52% among 18-24 year olds. These converts face a booming supply.

Since January 1, 2022, life insurance contracts must reference at least one solidarity support, a socially responsible investment fund (SRI) and a green fund (relating to ecological activities). “As a result, everyone can automatically place part of their capital in a responsible fund, without having to change their contract, comments Philippe Gourdelier, co-founder of Patrimea. In addition, more and more units of account are transform to integrate extra-financial criteria, without their holders necessarily realizing it.

Conclusion ? Your savings may be responsible without you knowing it! Until recently, these products were unearthed exclusively in contracts with a range of units of account (on the Internet or from wealth management advisors). And with a few mutuals that are ahead of the curve on the subject, such as Maif. But now, the responsible offer is spreading everywhere, including in bank offers. La Banque Postale is at the forefront on the subject and Societe Generale last year included an SRI fund offer from various management companies in all its contracts.

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Finally, the main difficulty today is to find shoes that fit. Because the offer is vast and covers different realities. The easiest way is to focus on the labels. There are two main ones: the SRI label and the Greenfin label. The first is a general seal: to obtain it, managers must have implemented an investment procedure integrating extra-financial criteria and exclude at least 20% of their investment universe, i.e. less virtuous societies. More than 900 funds have already won this medal. The Greenfin label is more demanding but it only concerns products invested in green activities (energy, transport, agriculture, etc.). That is a few dozen products.

This first filter is useful but incomplete. The SRI label in particular is the subject of criticism, in particular because it does not exclude any sector (unlike the Greenfin label). “How can we understand that we find an oil producer like Total in the front lines of certain SRI-labelled funds?” asks Joseph Choueifaty, co-founder of Goodvest. It is also undergoing an overhaul.

Several possibilities exist to make a second sorting. First of all, rely on reputable management companies in the field, working on SRI for many years such as Mirova, Sycomore AM, Ecofi… Another solution: favor funds with a responsible theme, such as transition climate change, the reduction of inequalities, the circular economy, etc.

Finally, another option is to offload to a professional. It manages your assets and distributes them within your contract, but with a responsible approach. Both robo-advisors Nalo and Yomoni, for example, offer a sustainable version of their asset allocation. An offer developed with Sycomore AM also equips the Boursorama Vie contract. The association of savers Agipi has also integrated managed management, both thematic and integrating extra-financial criteria, into its flagship Cler contract. New contracts are also being created specifically in this niche, such as Goodvie (see table). The latter offers managed management with portfolios compatible with a global warming trajectory in accordance with the Paris agreements. The latter is carried out thanks to the carbon footprint calculations of the specialized agency Carbon4 Finance. Tailor-made, these portfolios can also be personalized with the themes of your choice (health, access to water, employment, etc.). Initiatives of this kind are expected to multiply in the coming years.

The Express



Dario Ungiusto / L’Express



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