The news is like a bomb in the world of asset management. The share price of DWS, the main German asset manager, lost 13% in Frankfurt at midday, after new revelations from the “Wall Street Journal” on its sustainable finance policy. Second European manager behind the French Amundi, the subsidiary of Deutsche Bank is targeted by investigators from the SEC, the US market regulator, and by federal prosecutors in New York. BaFin, the German regulator, is also investigating the case, Bloomberg says.
The authorities want to determine whether DWS has overestimated the weight of its assets under management using ESG (environmental, social and governance) criteria. The affair risks shaking many asset managers, knowing that sustainable finance has become the main growth driver for the industry in Europe, but also increasingly in the United States. DWS and US officials declined to comment.