Carol Zaccheo: “War will increase investor and saver interest in ESG”

Next-Finance: Can you introduce us to MAIF? What is your current debt and what is your current asset allocation?

Carol Zaccheo: MAIF (Mutuelle Assurance des Instituteurs de France) is a French mutual insurance company, founded in 1934, with about 4 million members. At the end of 2021, the group’s debt amounted to 22 billion euros. In large masses, our distribution of assets is broken down as follows:

  • rates and credit, including money market: 70% (corporate bonds and government securities)
  • Quoted and unregistered shares: 10%
  • real assets: 10%
  • other assets: 10%

Do you think this division will change significantly with the war in Ukraine and galloping inflation?

We reduced our influence on stock markets, although we did not have a direct influence on Russian or Ukrainian companies. The indirect impact on these countries through the investment funds in which we invest was almost zero.

We have made some cuts and alienations in our portfolio of directly managed bonds of issuers that may have been affected by these areas, but these transactions have been small.

Many institutional investors are defending their portfolios in anticipation of increased risk. Is this also your case? Do you use specific hedging strategies?

This is really what we have done recently by reducing equity positions, high-yield debts and financial debts. We do not use hedging strategies.

Do you think this war will increase investor interest in ESG issues or, conversely, broaden the outlook? For example, some arms companies may have found the favor of ESG investors, while so far they have been quite excluded from this type of fund …

In fact, I think the war will increase the interest of investors and savers in the topic of ESG. Given our current dependence on fossil fuels, the development of renewable energy sources should accelerate in the coming years.

As for the MAIF, an investor committed to an ambitious climate strategy, investment in the energy transition will increase, both in terms of energy efficiency and renewable energy production. We also do not lose sight of the necessary social dimension of investment.


In fact, I think the war will increase the interest of investors and savers in the topic of ESG. Given our current dependence on fossil fuels, the development of renewable energy sources should accelerate in the coming years.

Carol Zaccheo, MAIF Investment and Placement Director

Are you looking to reduce the carbon footprint of your portfolios? Specifically, what commitments have you made in terms of the energy transition? What methods do you use to measure this carbon footprint in your portfolios?

Yes, we strive to measure our carbon footprint as best we can. To do this, we use external service providers, such as Carbone 4. Our goal is to align our portfolios in 2030 with a trajectory of 1.5 ° by 2050.

We are currently setting targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions for all asset portfolios by 2025. Setting these goals is also a commitment we made when we joined the NZAOA last year.

Do you have a long-term goal – 100% distribution of ESG?

Our approach is already 100% ESG, as all our investments are subject to non-financial analysis as well as financial analysis.

In addition, our SRI target for the MAIF Group is 90% by 2022. This goal is improving from year to year, but it is true that progress is now slower, in line with the inertia of stocks and especially illiquid investments.

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Carol Zaccheo, MAIF Investment and Placement Director

Do you delegate the management of your portfolio to management companies? Do you have goals for the profitability of your portfolio? How did he prove himself in 2021?

Delegated management through UCITS covers one third of our portfolio. We directly manage the portfolio of euro-denominated investment bonds.

We have annual financial product targets, so the return target is greater than the efficiency target.

This remained positive in 2021, due to good stock market performance, but worsened due to negative bond performance, which is the main distribution of our portfolio.

What items will be your favorite in the coming months? What asset classes do you plan to position yourself on?

We do not intend to make any major changes in the coming months. We continue our policy of strengthening unregistered assets (private debt, direct capital, real estate and infrastructure). Raising rates also creates attractive buying opportunities for our core portfolio.

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