AXA Investment Managers Selected by Foresters Friendly Society to Manage Multi-Asset Mandate

Foresters Friendly Society (Foresters), the mutual insurance provider protecting families since 1834, has appointed AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) to manage a £175 million multi-asset mandate on behalf of its members, with capacity for the mandate to grow to £300m in the medium-term. 

The mandate will be lead by portfolio manager Andrew Etherington, and managed across non-profit, with-profits and unit-linked funds. 80% of the mandate will be invested in traditional assets, allowing for a 20% allocation to AXA IM’s strong alternative investment offering, in order to provide Foresters with additional diversification and potential return for its policyholders.

Furthermore the mandate is designed to allow for Foresters’ growth plans and enhancement of ESG integration, an area in which AXA IM is highly skilled, with two decades of RI experience. Last year AXA IM announced integration of ESG analysis across all of its investment platforms.

ESG investment has increased significantly over the past few years, with Foresters taking a keen interest in the heightened social conscience of the investment community.  The appointment of AXA IM broadens the opportunities to invest in alternative asset classes, enhancing investment returns whilst keeping risk profiles within appetite, but also allows Foresters to explore and improve their ESG offering to support the increasing demands of investors.

In June 2019, Foresters Friendly Society won Best Small Insurer at the Insurance Investment Exchange awards. Foresters were recognised for delivering real value via their investment portfolios and minimising volatility in an increasingly complex environment.

Rachel Webb, Finance Director at Foresters Friendly Society, commented: “We are pleased to have appointed AXA IM to manage our multi-asset mandate on behalf of our members. This appointment facilitates our expansion into ESG, which is an area of great importance across the investment industry as well as to our members whose interests are at the forefront of our services.”

John Stainsby, Head of UK Institutional Client Group, said: “Being appointed by a historically important mutual such as Foresters Friendly Society is a great endorsement of our third party offering, and best in class insurance asset management capabilities. Today is an exciting time for UK mutuals as they look to innovate and grow their member base. We believe that AXA IM are well placed to support in this development. We look forward to working closely with the Foresters team, and growing the relationship further.”