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Columbia Threadneedle Investments Enhances Its Fundamental Research with Proprietary Responsible Investment Ratings

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Innovative tool combines ESG and financial stewardship data in
single company rating for 5,500 listed equities globally

The firm's investment teams can access the proprietary RI ratings
tool through an integrated data framework that supports existing
traditional and advanced research tools

Columbia Threadneedle Investments is adding to its extensive fundamental
research effort by launching an innovative responsible investment (RI)
ratings tool that combines an assessment of a company's financial
stewardship with a view on how well it manages its Environmental, Social
and Governance (ESG) risks. By combining both aspects into a single,
forward-looking rating from 1 to 5, the tool reflects Columbia
Threadneedle's belief that prudent management of financial and ESG
factors are important to a company's ability to create long-term,
sustainable value. Research conducted by the RI team covering the last
five years demonstrates that companies that perform best on financial
and ESG factors have the capacity to outperform.

The RI ratings tool was created by Columbia Threadneedle's central
research function. Leveraging the latest technology, a cloud-based
integrated data framework supports an array of traditional and advanced
research tools, allowing the firm's over 100 analysts and research
associates to dedicate more time to creative thinking, insights and
recommendations. A culture of collaboration underpins the research
ecosystem and ensures insights are discussed, debated and shared
throughout the firm, resulting in original, independent, forward-looking
research that drives long-term sustainable returns for Columbia
Threadneedle's clients.

Colin Moore, Global Chief Investment Officer at Columbia Threadneedle,
said: "As an active manager, we owe our clients a duty to consider
factors that can pose a risk to or enhance client assets. We believe
that analysis combining financial stewardship indicators with an
assessment of how well a company is managing the ESG issues pertinent to
its business is key to value creation."

"Fundamental analysis is central to active management and we have built
an additive, evidence-based and forward-looking RI ratings system. It
provides our analysts and portfolio managers with a tool for further
insight into a company's leadership, governance, culture and operational
standards of practice, with a focus on issues that are material to its
long-term performance. We believe that our new RI ratings tool enhances
our ability to evaluate investments on behalf of clients."

The RI ratings tool was developed in conjunction with Columbia
Threadneedle's global Responsible Investment team of 12, headed by Iain
Richards, Global Head of Responsible Investment. This team includes
experts in RI analytics, ESG research and integration, stewardship and
engagement, proxy voting, sustainable outcomes and thematic RI research.
Equity portfolio management teams began using this additive research
tool in 2018; it is being rolled out to fixed income investment teams in
2019.

Iain Richards said: "Today, investors are seeking to assess, understand
and measure the wider implications of their investment choices. They
have access to multiple third-party ESG ratings from research houses,
which offer widely divergent assessments. Feedback from asset owners
highlights frustration at the lack of clarity and investment relevance
of many current ESG approaches, and the resulting uncertainty that
exists concerning the likely impact on financial returns of
non-financial factors. We have sought to address these limitations and
provide our portfolio managers with an additional tool to best identify
the value generated by well-run, sustainable businesses or those that
are on the path to improvement."

"Combining evidence-based ratings and analysis with the power of data
science, puts real-time, actionable intelligence into the hands of
portfolio managers and analysts, providing them with the ability to
effectively integrate that intelligence into the research and assessment
of investment opportunities and exposures. This is about putting the
‘investment' into Responsible Investment."

Mac Ryerse, Lead Analyst (US), Responsible Investment, said: "The
ratings tool is an evolution of our established Responsible Investment
offering and complements our existing fundamental and quantitative
analysis. It is a quality rating that uses the power of big data and
cloud computing to systematically provide focused information that is
additive to our fundamental financial analysis of issuers and supportive
of our portfolio managers and analysts as they seek to deliver a
superior investment experience to our clients."

About Columbia Threadneedle Investments
Columbia
Threadneedle Investments is a leading global asset manager that provides
a broad range of investment strategies and solutions for individual,
institutional and corporate clients around the world. With more than
2,000 people, including over 450 investment professionals based in North
America, Europe and Asia, we manage $431 billion of assets across
developed and emerging market equities, fixed income, asset allocation
solutions and alternatives, including $29 billion in responsible
investment funds and accounts.1

Columbia Threadneedle Investments is the global asset management group
of Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (NYSE:AMP). For more information, please
visit columbiathreadneedle.com/us.
Follow us on Twitter.

1As of December 31, 2018

Columbia funds are distributed by Columbia Management Investment
Distributors, Inc., member FINRA, and managed by Columbia Management
Investment Advisers, LLC.

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© 2019 Columbia Management Investment Advisers, LLC. All rights reserved.

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