Environmental Finance's Bond Awards 2023

Investor of the year (asset owner): AG2R La Mondiale

AG2R La Mondiale secured the Asset owner investor of the year award for the rapid expansion of its sustainable bond investment programme, and particularly its significant focus on social bond and private debt investments.

By the end of 2022, the sustainable bond portfolio of the French insurance and pension firm had grown to €4.4 billion ($4.8 billion) – representing 7% of its entire bond portfolio. In the last two years, 15% of its entire bond purchase programme has been dedicated to sustainable bonds.

Jean Louis CharlesOne Environmental Finance Bond Awards judge particularly praised the firm – which manages more than €89 billion in assets – for its substantial increase in commitment to the sector in recent years.

AG2R La Mondiale chief investment officer Jean-Louis Charles told Environmental Finance the firm has grown increasingly keen to "broaden" its intervention in the market – especially regarding social bonds and private debt – as it looked to enhance the coherence of both its role as insurance and pension provider and a long-term investor.

Although 62% of its sustainable bond portfolio is in green bonds, AG2R La Mondiale said that 16% and 15% was also allocated to social and sustainability bonds. What is more, 18% of its sustainable bond purchases in 2022 were social bonds – up from just 2% in 2021 – and included participation in issuances such as the €1 billion social inclusion bond issued by the Council of Europe Development Bank to support Ukrainian refugees.

The firm has also supported the sustainability-linked bond market, with the performance-based instrument representing 7% of its overall sustainable bond portfolio. In particular, AG2R La Mondiale has focused on integrating sustainability-linked elements to its private debt portfolio.

This followed the firm making a significant investment in the award-winning Eiffel Impact Debt Fund in 2020 and has resulted in AG2R La Mondiale participating in deals including private placements from energy firm Albioma and distribution firm Monnoyeur.