DWS has responded to claims regarding their ESG disclosures and funds.
The firm says that it stands by its annual report disclosures and rejects what it calls “unfounded allegations.” In a statement, it says the company will “remain a steadfast proponent of ESG investing as part of its fiduciary role on behalf of its clients”.
The comments come after allegations by a former employee regarding the ESG credentials of some of its funds. This has led to German financial authorities looking into the allegations and a subsequent fall in the DWS share price.
In the statement, DWS added, “We differentiated between “ESG Integrated AuM” and “ESG AuM” (which DWS referred to as “ESG Dedicated”) when presenting the assets under management in our Annual Report 2020 and reported both classifications”.
“As we disclosed in our Annual Report 2020 on page 90, DWS labeled strategies as “ESG Integrated” if they were actively managed and included coverage of ESG data (the overall SynRating) on more than 90% of the portfolio. “ESG Integrated AuM” were not counted towards the firm’s “ESG AuM” (“ESG Dedicated”)”.
“In our more recent half-year report published in July 2021, we reported EUR 70.1 billion of ESG AuM (“ESG Dedicated”) after applying our revised ESG product classification approach in accordance with the new SFDR guidelines*. In addition, we reported EUR 16.4 billion of illiquid green-labelled single assets in non-ESG classified products”.