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Company Profile ESG Reseach & Evaluation

  • Established in July 1998
  • Founder, President and CEO : Mizue Tsukushi
  • Independent investment-advisory company devoted to social investment research in Japan
  • Managed by women’s leadership
  • First mover in developing SRI products in Japan/Asia
  • Qualified Financial Institutional Investor Registered on The Kanto Finance Bureau

Characteristics of Good Bankers

The Good Bankers Co., Ltd. was established on July 14, 1998 by Ms. Mizue Tsukushi and her highly motivated female friends who wanted to apply their experience in the financial service industry to address environmental and social problems.

It is the first and only independent investment advisory company in Japan that is fully devoted to social investment research and has been the leading firm in the Japanese SRI industry ever since.

Characteristics of the company

  • First mover in developing SRI products in Asia
  • Well-combined team of analysts : best mix of backgrounds in financial, environmental and social fields
  • Core competence of the team : capacity to evaluate intangible assets of companies
  • Gender, generation and geographical diversity of personnel
  • Independence: 95% of the shares are owned by the management
  • Collaboration with experts
  • University partnership
  • Global network (33 countries)

Products

Products and services for investors

  • Providing sustainability research, analysis and ESG Scores & ratings
  • Investment research and opinion for institutional investors
  • Information provision
  • Alert-services & Negative evaluation opinion
  • Investor Portfolio screening
  • Company profiles
  • Engagement services
  • Sector and thematic research reports
  • Designing the concept and development of the key indicators of new SRI products
  • Marketing overseas SRI products to Japanese investors

Clients

  • Approximate asset size under advisory : USD 236Million, as of March 2022
  • Japanese Asset managers affiliated with major banks, insurers, and brokers
  • Tokyo Stock Exchange
  • Pension Funds
  • Foreign asset managers
  • News Agencies
  • Labor Unions

Characteristics of the Research of Good Bankers

Based on the Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Information
gathered through:

  • Company visits
  • In-person meetings and Interviews
  • Telephone calls, email communication and video conferences
  • Over 4,000 contacts annually inside and outside of Japan (institutional investers, labour unions, religious organization, corporate employers/employees, industry experts & journalists, academic circles, environmental agencies & organizations, and government officials, NPO/NGOs)

Research

Research Subjects

Coverage

1,100 Japanese companies

Scope of research

Full coverage of ESG field
( Environmental performance,  social performance, and corporate  governance )

Research Analysts

Full time

9 analysts (5 CFA status-Certified Financial Analysts)

Part time

4 analysts

CEO and Evaluation committee supervise the research department. Five full-time research analysts cover ESG research.

Methodology

Good Bankers designs and tailors its research programs according to each client’s specific needs and criteria, which normally differ for each client.

Strength of the Research Products

  1. Neutrality in rating (Avoid conflicts of consulting)
  2. Independency, 95% Management
  3. Historical ESG Score & Rating Database for 15 years
  4. Stability of In-house rating system in operation for 24 years
  5. 800 Comprehensive ESG evaluation items

Perspectives in  Company Assessment (Ex. Environment)  150 Items

Eco-efficiency

  • Is the company effectively using resources and energy in its manufacturing operations while at the same time offering competitive, high-quality products and services?
  • Is the company making efforts to minimize its environmental impact and resource consumption over the life cycle of the product or service?

Primary criteria (standards for investment and assessment)

Management strategy

Examine the place of environmental concerns in the management strategy
Research items: presence of an environmental philosophy and environmental policy, attitude of top management, environmental strategy, etc.

Organization and system

Examine the content of the environmental management system and assess the development of an ongoing and organized system for environmental activities
Research items: status of EMS certification (e.g. ISO 14001), environmental education, information disclosure, green purchasing, etc.

Manufacturing processes

Examine measures taken to reduce environmental impact in manufacturing processes
Research items: global warming countermeasures, resource-saving measures, chemical substance control, soil pollution control, etc.

Environmental-friendliness of products

Examine environmental considerations in products or services
Research items: product assessment (for energy-saving design, recycling design, etc.), life cycle assessment, green procurement, etc.

Perspectives in Company Assessment (Ex. Social Action) 450 Items

Strategic quality of social action

  • Is the company’s social action program creating and maintaining social value and being carried out on a systematic and ongoing basis?
  • At the same time, does the social action program possess a strategic quality that allows it to effectively and efficiently contribute to the company’s corporate value?

Primary criteria (standards for investment and assessment)

Organization & Structure

Examine the status of development of an in-house organization and system for social action
Research items: clarification of an action philosophy and policy, presence of a responsible organ, past records of activity assessment and auditing, etc.

Activities

Examine the scope, achievements, and sustainability of each social action and its bearing on the business operations
Research items: program content in each activity field, content of support for volunteer activities by employees, etc.

Communication

Examine employee and community education, diversity of information transmission, and cooperation with NPOs
Research items: manner of information disclosure, offering of opportunities for action, ability to develop programs that meet community needs, etc.

Perspectives in Company Assessment (Ex. Governance) 200 Items

Strategic quality of governance and compliance

  • Does the company recognize the risk and reward factors surrounding the company and industry to formulate competitive business strategies and to make right managerial decisions?
  • Is the company’s operation Transparent , Accountable and Traceable? Are Corporate governance and compliance policy and systems such as the code of conduct, Business Ethics, Management and Governing system , Audit, Investor Relations and Compliance functioning well?

Primary criteria (standards for investment and assessment)

Governance

Examine the status of organization and system for corporate governance
Research items: shared awareness and understanding with shareholders of managerial policies, independency of outside directors, disclosure of remuneration , etc.

Compliance

Examine the status of organization and system for compliance
Research items: the responsible department , staff training course and auditing system such as outside auditors ,etc.

Disclosure

Examine the status of communication with stakeholders
Research items: continuous monitoring of the level of information disclosure and IR activities, etc.

Network

Japan Network

We work closely with regulators, technical experts, environmental researchers, journalists and NPO in Japan.

Global Network

We have overseas contacts in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Czech Republic, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Indonesia, India, Iran, Italy, Korea, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, the People’s Republic of China, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, the UK, the USA, and Uzbekistan.

Strategic Alliance Partners

For co-research and co-marketing projects

  • University of Tokyo, Institute of Industrial Science (Japan)
  • University of Kyoto (Japan)
  • Ochanomizu Women’s University, Life-World Watch Center (Japan)
  • Society for 21st Century Vision (Japan)
  • Ethifinance (France)

Network with International organizations

  • Amnesty International

Patents

Obtained and registered “ESG patents” (2 cases) in August 2021.
Both are patents with unprecedented novelty, originality, and explanation.
It has an advantage in business activities and marketing activities.

“Display method of non-financial information, information processing equipment and programs”

Display the ESG evaluation of individual brands with an icon (image)

“Portfolio construction method using ESG information”

In the process of stock investment portfolio construction, utilizing the “financial score” of financial analysis and the “ESG score” of ESG evaluation.
ESG investment method by “quantitative evaluation” and “systematic operation”.

Portfolio construction process

  1. 100 stocks with a high overall evaluation by adding up the “financial score” and “ESG score”
  2. Build a portfolio based on the “ESG score” for the investment allocation ratio.
  3. Review regularly to change stocks and rebalance investment weight.

Funds

Nikko ECO Fund

Operation : Nikko Asset Management
launched : August 20, 1999

Mitsubishi UFJ SRI Fund
Known as:”Family friendly”

Operation : Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Investment Trust
launched : December 3, 2004

CAM ESG Japan Stock Fund

Operation : Capital Asset Management
launched : January 27, 2017
Net assets : 1.87 billion yen (end of March 2022)

History

Aug. 1999
Developed Japan’s first SRI product, the Nikko Eco Fund.
  • A winner of the 2001 Good Design Award
  • Other companies followed in the wake of this success, giving birth to an SRI market in Japan
Oct. 1999
Began research on an eco fund for Kogin-Daiichi Life Asset Management Co.
Mar. 2000
Became one of the first signatories of UNEP FI in Japan.
Dec. 2000
Began research on an SRI fund for the Mutual Aid Association for Tokyo Metropolitan Teachers and Officials.
  • The first tailor-made SRI fund catering to institutional investors in Japan
  • In addition to environmental performance, also evaluates social performance (employee treatment, in-house and out-of-house training, social action programs, etc.)
Jan. 2001
In partnership with the environmental and social issues research team of Zuercher Kantonalbank, the third largest Swiss universal bank, began research on Japanese companies and an analyst training exchange program.
Jan. 2003
Commissioned by the Ethical Investment Research Service, a major British SRI research organization, to conduct research on Japanese companies (~Jan.2005).
Feb. 2003
Commissioned by the Mutual Aid Association for Tokyo Metropolitan Teachers and Officials to implement its SRI pension fund.
Jan. 2004
Commissioned by SNS Asset Management of the Netherlands to conduct research on Japanese companies for its global SRI fund.

An asset management company of the SNS Reaal Group, the sixth largest Dutch financial group, and a pioneer in SRI management in the Netherlands
Clients include numerous institutional investors, such as ASN Bank, the largest Dutch bank specializing in SRI, and public pension funds

Jun. 2004
Gained the Research mandate from Mitsubishi UFJ Asset Management for its first SRI Fund.
Dec. 2004
Mitsubishi UFJ SRI fund (Family Friendly Fund) starts.
Oct. 2005
Mitsubishi UFJ SRI fund (Family Friendly Fund) became a winner of the 2005 Good Design Award.
Apr. 2006
Gained the research mandate from Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc. For its custom made SRI Index.
Jun. 2006
Gained the SRI research mandate from Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking for its pension clients.
Jul. 2007
Gained the research mandate from the EU Commission for environmental finance.
Nov. 2007
Mitsubishi UFJ SRI fund (Family Friendly Fund) became a winner of the first Work-Life Balance Awards for its outstanding social effect.
May. 2008
Discussion on the Partnership Fund with UNESCO has started and the formal proposal was submitted to UNESCO HQ in Paris.
Apr. 2009
Made a presentation on ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) Fund at the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development in Bonn.
Mar. 2010
Gained the consultancy mandate from Sparinvest, the independent asset management company in Denmark.
Jun. 2010
Gained the research mandate from the Rokinren Bank (Labor Bank).
Nov. 2011
Gained the research mandate from the Von Braun foundation in Germany.
Jun. 2012
Gained the research mandate from Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc.
Apr. 2013
Eco Fund gained an award for SRI category from Rating and Investment Information, Inc.
Jun. 2013
Gained the mandate for SRI column provider from K.K. Kyodo News.
Apr. 2014
Eco Fund gained an award for SRI category from Rating and Investment Information, Inc.
Sep. 2014
Joined French SRI week event sponsored by the Government.
Jan. 2015
CSR Sponsor of New Castle City Government at AFC Asian Cup 2015 in Australia.
Jun. 2015
Joined SRI event in Paris sponsored by ODDO securities.
Sep. 2016
Developed ESG index jointly with Thomson Reuters Markets KK.
Jan. 2017
First ESG Mutual Fund was launched, for which GB provides all ESG ratings.
Feb. 2018
Invited to ESG Investment Seminar in Tokyo sponsored by Capital Asset Management as main speaker.
May. 2018
Gained research mandate for sports finance website ‘The Stadium Hub.’
Dec. 2019
Gained ESG advisory mandate from Foundation.
Mar. 2020
Gained ESG research mandate from Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management.

Biography

Mizue Tsukushi, President and CEO of The Good Bankers Co.,Ltd., is a Pioneer in implementing SRI products into the Japanese market. Former Deputy General Manager of the Institutional Marketing Dept. of UBS Trust and Banking Co., Ltd. in Tokyo.

After receiving a language certificate for the French Civilization Course at the University of Paris in 1979, Ms Tsukushi started her career at Technip, a French engineering company and then went on to join TOTAL CFP, a French oil major. In 1988, she moved to the financial industry, starting as the Deputy Representative at KREDIET Bank, Belgian bank’s Tokyo office and then moving in 1990 to UBS Trust and Banking as the Marketing Officer in charge of institutional clients. She left in 1998 to set up her own company, The Good bankers Co., Ltd, which was Asia’s first and solely independent SRI advisory company.

Besides carrying out her challenging job as a CEO, she also enjoys writing for Japanese leading newspapers and magazines in the field of energy, pension industry and country reports, as well as SRI trends domestic and overseas.

Awards

  • Awarded 1st prize of “Women of the year 2000: Women Entrepreneur Section” for her successful launch of “Eco-Fund”, the first environmentally friendly mutual fund in Japan and Asia.
  • Gained ”Good Design Award 2001” for Nikko Eco Fund
  • Commended as a person of merit for Gender Equality of the Cabinet Office by the Prime Minister (2005)
  • Gained “Good Design Award 2005” for Mitsubishi UFJ SRI Fund (“Family Friendly”)

Public Assignments

  • Member of the special advisory committees of the Government of Japan for
    • The Ministry of Environment,
    • The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology,
    • The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry
  • Member of the Japanese National Commission of UNESCO (~Oct. 2010)
  • Member of UNEP FI Steering Committee (~Oct. 2011)
  • Adviser to the Evaluation Meeting of National Institutes for Cultural Heritage (as of Jun.2022)
  • Advisor to the Planning and Evaluation Committee of NITE (National Institute of Technology and Evaluation) (Mar.2015~)
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