Case Study: First Sentier Investors – Achieving B Corporation Certification

About First Sentier Investors

First Sentier Investors is a global asset manager with a strong culture of stewardship and a commitment to responsible investing principles. It has been a signatory to the UN Principles of Responsible Investment since 2007. 

First Sentier Investors’ active investment teams, whether in-house or individually branded, manage assets exceeding A$230 billion* on behalf of institutional investors, pension funds, wholesale distributors and platforms, financial advisers and their clients. It believes that capital allocation can be used as a force for good and incorporates ESG considerations into its investment approaches to make better decisions on behalf of clients, the broader society and the environment. 

The Challenge

First Sentier Investors sought a global certification for its responsible business practices and a designation that would represent its commitment to meet high standards of social and environmental performance.

The Solution

The B Corp Certification provides an external and global framework to assess and improve First Sentier Investors’ operations, complementing its responsible investing principles to clients, employees, its shareholders and the wider community. 

The Approach

In April 2020, First Sentier Investors engaged The Growth Activists’ ESG practice lead Kirsty Simmonds. Kirsty is one of the first B Lab-trained consultants and advisers in Australia and New Zealand, specialising in guiding large businesses through B Corp Certifications.

As a large corporate, First Sentier Investors followed B Lab’s Multinationals and Large Enterprise Businesses certification path. This is a staged approach with milestone reviews and thresholds to meet during that time. It typically takes businesses a couple of years to complete.

This process for Large & Complex businesses involved:

Standard business vs Large complex business B Corp certification process

The final stage was for First Sentier Investors to adjust its constitution to meet the legal requirements to become a B Corp and to engage across the business on announcement.

The Deliverables

Guide First Sentier Investors through the process to certification. The Growth Activists provided expert advice, troubleshooting, and project management to ensure accountability and progress within the agreed timeframe.

The Results

First Sentier Investors obtained its B Corp Certification in November 2022 with an outstanding score of 107.2, joining a select group of fewer than 200 large businesses worldwide with this distinction. Its substantial size allows the organisation to exemplify best practices. 

Kirsty and TGA now work with First Sentier Investors to lead a periodic roundtable event for large businesses to share insights, fostering a forum for leaders to share how large businesses can be a force for good.


*First Sentier Investors’ gross AUM, inclusive of associated strategic partnership with AlbaCore Capital Group, as of 31 December 2023.