ESG investing has reached a tipping point and it has become clear that the costs of inaction may be higher than the costs of action. The FT Investing for Good: Mainstreaming ESG Summit connects asset owners and asset managers, policy makers and thought leaders, data providers and analysts to map the next stage of the journey to drive the fundamental changes needed to deliver the SDGs by 2030, and to get to a point where responsible investing becomes simply investing.
FT Investing for Good Europe: Mainstreaming ESG
Mapping the next stage of the journey
Generation Investment Management LLP
Carine Smith Ihenacho
Norges Bank Investment Management
David Blood is co-founder and Senior Partner of Generation Investment Management. Since its founding in 2004, Generation has played an integral role in the development of sustainable investing and in demonstrating the long-term commercial and societal benefits of this approach. Previously, David spent 18 years at Goldman Sachs including serving as CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. David received a B.A. from Hamilton College and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. He is chairman of Dialight, Social Finance UK and co-chair of The World Resources Institute and on the boards of On the Edge Conservation and SHINE. David is also a life trustee of Hamilton College.
Carine Smith Ihenacho
Carine Smith Ihenacho is Chief Corporate Governance Officer at Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the manager of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, and a member of the fund’s executive management group. Carine is responsible for exercising the fund’s ownership rights and promoting good governance and responsible business conduct with the fund’s investments in over 9,000 companies. This includes policy development, company dialogue and voting, and supporting sustainability initiatives and research. Carine has a background as a lawyer, both in-house and in law firms, and has served as a non-executive director at several boards. She holds a law degree from the University of Oslo, a Master of Economics from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration and a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School. Carine is a member of several advisory councils, including The President’s Council of International Activities of Yale University and the European Leadership Council of Harvard Law School.
Christina Olivecrona is Senior Sustainability Analyst at Andra AP-fonden (AP2) where she is responsible for initiating, developing and implementing sustainability into all investment processes across all asset classes. AP2 is one of the five ‘buffer funds’ within the Swedish national pension system and has approximately SEK 350 billion in AUM.
Ms Olivecrona is a board member of IIGCC, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change. She is also a member of AP Fund’s Ethical Council, a collaboration between the First, Second, Third and Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund, which focuses on engagement with global companies. She is a member of PRI’s Advisory Committee for the Sustainable Development Goals and a member of the Steering Committee of the Centre for Collective Action Research (CeCAR), a research centre at the University of Gothenburg.
Ms Olivecrona has worked with sustainability issues since 1992, and since 2003 with a focus on the financial sector. She started to work with AP2 in 2005. Ms Olivecrona has a Master of Science in Engineering Physics from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden and a MBA from Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands.
Edward is Head of Responsible Investment at the Church Commissioners for England whose £8.2bn endowment supports the ministry of the Church of England. Edward is responsible for the implementation of the Commissioners’ ethical and responsible investment commitments. He took up his position in 2014 having previously served for five years as Secretary of the Church of England Ethical Investment Advisory Group which advises the Commissioners and the other national investing bodies of the Church on ethical investment. Edward sits on the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance (UKSIF) Policy Committee, the Oxford University Socially Responsible Investment Review Committee and the advisory committee of the Sarasin & Partners Climate Active Fund. Prior to working at the Church of England, Edward served for 15 years as a British diplomat, leaving in 2005 to help establish the diplomatic advisory group Independent Diplomat. He holds a degree in History from Oxford University.
Nico Aspinall is the Chief Investment Officer at The People’s Pension. Previously, he was Head of Defined Contribution (DC) Investment at Willis Towers Watson, and Head of DC for the Barclays staff pension scheme. He also chaired the Resource and Environment Board and is a member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries Council. Nico is a qualified actuary and has published papers on resource depletion and monetary sustainability – working to ensure climate change and other sustainability issues are understood and acted upon by actuaries where appropriate.
Magnus Billing is the CEO of Alecta. Alecta provides collectively agreed occupational pensions, and is owned by approximately 2.4 million private customers and 34,000 corporate clients. Alecta’s assets under management amount to approximately US$90 billion. In 2016 Mr Billing was appointed to be member of the European Commissions’ “high-level expert group” on sustainable finance. In January 2018, the group delivered their final recommendations for “a comprehensive EU strategy on sustainable finance as part of the Capital Markets Union”, which informed the Commissions’ Action plan on Sustainable Finance launched in 2018. Prior to joining Alecta, Mr Billing was the CEO of Nasdaq Nordics, and Head of Fixed Income Nordic and Baltic Markets. At Nasdaq he previously held the position as Chief Legal Counsel and Senior Vice President of Nasdaq Group, Inc. Mr Billing has served as Director at the Federation of European Securities Exchanges, Swedish House of Finance and as an Alternate Director of the Swedish Corporate Governance Code Board of Directors. He holds a Law degree from Stockholm University.
Claudia Chapman joined the Financial Reporting Council in 2015 to deliver the report "Corporate culture and the role of boards" which led to revisions of the UK Corporate Governance Code. Most recently she led the review and update to the UK Stewardship Code which took effect on 1 January 2020. Prior to that she spent nine years at ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) in business development and policy roles, latterly, leading a campaign to raise corporate governance standards in developing markets and bringing together finance and HR to address inclusion and diversity in organisations. Claudia studied Geography at Cardiff University
Jen Field is Director of Social Impact at GLG, the world’s leading knowledge marketplace. In this role, she leads all Social Impact initiatives, including the GLG Social Impact Fellowship. Jen also connects public and private equity impact investing clients with experts to inform investment and ESG strategies that drive social, environmental, and financial returns. Before joining GLG in 2012, Jen was a Vice President in the Office of Corporate Engagement at Goldman Sachs, where she helped lead the 10,000 Women Initiative. She was also involved in the development of 10,000 Small Businesses and Goldman Sachs Gives. Jen’s experience also includes serving as Special Assistant and Personal Aide to Vice President Dick Cheney and as a Foreign Affairs Advisor in the US Mission to the United Nations. Jen holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a BA from Yale University. She is on the Advisory Boards of The Resolution Project and Concordia.
Caroline Laurie is Head of Sustainability at Kingfisher Plc. A CIMA qualified accountant, she joined Kingfisher 13 years ago as a buyer before being promoted to category manager, in this role she was instrumental in the decision to remove all gas patio heaters from B&Q UK. In 2012 she was asked to join the company’s new energy saving proposition as a business development manager – designed to help customers reduce their home’s energy use through intelligent product developments and installed solutions.
Kevin McGeeney is CEO at SCB Group, a founder of the organisation in 2006. With group offices in Switzerland, the United States, UK and Singapore, SCB is the world’s largest renewable energy brokerage firm. It has won many accolades including ‘Environmental Deal of the Year’ awarded by Environmental Risk Magazine and six years running “Broker of the Year” in its target markets by Energy Risk. Before the establishment of the SCB Group, Mr McGeeney spent 15 years as an investment banker in London, New York and Tokyo. He holds Bachelor of Commerce and Masters of Economic Science degrees from University College Dublin. As part of his journey of discovery and experience in environmental matters, Mr McGeeney has taken teams from SCB to the North Pole, Antarctica and some of the most vulnerable communities around the world, such as Haiti and Senegal.
Saker Nusseibeh CBE
Saker Nusseibeh is CEO, International of Federated Hermes. He was appointed CEO of Hermes Investment Management in 2011 having joined in 2009 as CIO. He is also a member of the Federated Investors Executive team. Prior to Hermes, Saker was Global Head of Equities at Fortis Investments, having previously been CIO Global Equities since 2005. Before this, he was CIO of Global Equities and Head of Marketing for SGAM UK. This followed SGAM’s acquisition of Trust Company of the West, where Saker was a Managing Director running global and international strategies, as well the London office. He started his career at Mercury Asset Management in 1987. Saker is founder of the 300 Club and was an inaugural member of the CFA Institute’s Future of Finance Advisory Council from 2013 until 2019. He is a member of the IIRC Council, the FCA-PRA Climate Financial Risk Forum, the United Nations Environmental Programme Financial Initiative Steering Committee, the Banking Standards Board, the UK National Advisory Board on Impact Investing, and the advisory Board of the National Youth Orchestra. In 2018, Saker was named CEO of the Year at the Financial News Asset Management Europe Awards. He has a BA and PhD in Medieval History from King's College, University of London. Saker was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s 2019 New Year's Honours list for services to Responsible Business and Finance.
Stephanie Pfeifer has led the IIGCC since 2005 and has overseen its expansion into a pan-European investor group during that time. Stephanie also sits on the Steering Committee of the Climate Action 100+ initiative. Prior to her role at IIGCC, Stephanie worked in investment banking for over 7 years, including as senior economist at Morgan Grenfell and a VP at Deutsche Bank in London. She holds an MSc with distinction in Environmental Studies and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University and an MA in Economics from Exeter University.
Ann Søndermølle Rendbæk
Ann Søndermølle Rendbæk is Investor Relations Manager at Novo Nordisk A/S, a position she has held since 2019. She joined the company in 2014 as a financial analyst with the Treasury department anchored in Corporate Finance. Following two years of employment, she was promoted to financial risk manager. Ann holds a masters in Mathematical-Economics (cand.scient.oecon) from Copenhagen University.
Vanessa Harvard-Williams is co-head of Linklaters’ risk and governance practice and a founder partner and head of the firm’s sustainability practice. She regularly advises corporates, pension funds and regulated firms on climate and ESG reporting, fiduciary duties and sustainable finance. Formerly a commercial litigator, she has been involved in a wide range of contentious and advisory matters, including in relation to crisis and risk management.
Chairs and Moderators (3)
Billy Nauman is a reporter and producer for Moral Money, the new digital platform and newsletter from the FT featuring news and analysis about the fast-expanding world of socially responsible business, sustainable finance, impact investing, environmental, social and governance (ESG) trends. Before joining Moral Money, Billy worked in the FT’s Specialist division for nine years as a reporter and editor. Most recently, he was the managing editor of FundFire, the FT’s daily publication covering the U.S. institutional investment industry.
Katie Martin is the Financial Times' Markets Editor, having previously run fastFT, the FT's breaking news service. Prior to the FT, she was at the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones.
Owen Walker is an award-winning journalist who has covered business and investment issues in the US, UK and Europe. He is Asset Management Correspondent with the Financial Times, having previously served as Commissioning Editor in the Special Reports team. Prior to that he edited special FT publications on corporate governance, retail investment and pension scheme management. He has served as trustee on the board of the Pearson Group Pension Plan and was a committee member of the Association of Member Nominated Trustees. Owen is author of a book on activist investors, Barbarians in the Boardroom, which was published in 2016.
Environmental, social and governance investing reached a tipping point in 2019. It hit the mainstream, with earning calls from leading companies in multiple sectors routinely referencing sustainability efforts, global asset managers commenting on the growth of the ESG assets under management, and asset owners putting more emphasis than ever on their appetite for responsible investing. As it becomes clearer that the costs of inaction may become higher than the costs of acting now, the challenge in 2020 and for the decade ahead, is to keep the momentum going. What is required to take the next step, to make the fundamental changes needed to deliver the SDGs by 2030, and to get to a point where responsible investing becomes simply investing.
There is a great deal of work to be done and the Financial Times is delighted to bring together asset owners and asset managers, policy makers and advisors, data providers and analysts, to plot the next stage of the ESG journey for the world of investment.
This year’s agenda takes a forward looking approach, drilling down into the critical action points and the emerging innovations which will galvanise real change. Key topics to be explored include:
- What more can policy makers and Government do to align business investment and sustainability?
- Is the investment industry ready to make the move from quarterly capitalism towards long-term investing and returns? Who should and will drive the change?
- What does best practice corporate disclosure look like, and what are the next steps to improve standards in ESG reporting across sectors and geographies?
- Can FinTech solve the ESG data challenge? Our agenda will explore the latest advances on technologies and methodologies being employed to make sense of the materiality of the information.
- Can passive and smart beta investors also be responsible investors? In a world awash with sustainable passive products and strategies, how can investors make sense of the jargon to identify real prospects that align with their ESG, stewardship and return expectations?
- To engage or divest? Leaders from business and investment will explore whether it is better to cut allocations to ‘socially objectionable’ organisation, or to stay invested and promote change from within.
Agenda - 20th May
8:15amRegistration and Networking
9:00amOpening remarks from the Chair
9:10amKeynote: ESG integration – a lot done, a lot more to do?
Driven by the rising tide of protest on climate change inaction and greater shareholder engagement and stewardship, ESG issues matter more now than ever in today’s global business environment. It is becoming clear to many that the costs of inaction may become higher than the cost of action. But have we travelled as far as we think down the ESG road? As key questions persist around risk vs opportunity, and value vs outcomes, are ESG factors still a bolt-on rather than being tightly integrated from the outset?
David Blood, Senior Partner, Generation Investment Management LLP
9:30amLeaders’ Panel: Is the investment world ready to make the shift away from short-termism to more patient capitalism?
In late 2010 Unilever CEO Paul Polman announced that his company would stop providing quarterly earnings guidance so they could focus on the development of a new and more sustainable business model. Other companies have since adopted similar policies but the practice of ‘quarterly capitalism’ still dominates the investment world despite going against the momentum of ESG integration into asset allocation and portfolios. What needs to change to encourage long-term sustainable growth to the benefit of all and is there appetite for this shift? Should asset owners and companies be the agents of long-term value creation, and if yes, at what cost? In a world where short-termism, linked to compensation packages and annual performance is so pervasive, are portfolio managers, investment committees, and players along the entire investment value chain, ready to make the paradigm leap towards longer-term investing and returns?
Magnus Billing, Chief Executive Officer, Alecta
Claudia Chapman, Policy Advisor, Corporate Governance and Stewardship, Financial Reporting Council
10:50amPerspective: Stranded assets and carbon pricing – the next big challenge for investors?
Are stranded assets physical assets, where the owners are unable to further fund development, and unable to sell if already developed? Does it end there or are there business models and activities, not asset-based, which are becoming stranded (equity) assets? Is the scope of stranded asset much broader than previously thought, and can existing carbon pricing markets provide a guide to which business models are stranded as sure as if they were a fracked high sulphur fuel deposits in a densely populated area?
Kevin McGeeney, Chief Executive Officer, SCB Group
11:10amPanel: Best practice corporate ESG disclosure – what should it look like?
Reliable, consistent and comparable data is the lifeblood of investment analysis. For ESG investors, sourcing quality information is an enormous challenge particularly as companies are not required to report on ESG performance. As data is increasingly identified as a major stumbling block in truly mainstreaming ESG investing, has the time come for policy makers to move from encouraging to mandating corporate sustainability reporting, and standardising language and frameworks to ensure comparability? What are the next steps to build on the work of the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TFCD), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), and the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy? To what extent can a robust reporting processes be created by integrating financial and non-financial factors that can impact long-term corporate value and competitive advantage? Who are the leaders and laggards in reporting, not just environmental issues, but also stewardship and engagement issues?
Introductory remarks: Vanessa Harvard-Williams, Partner, Environmental and Climate Change, Linklaters
Carine Smith Ihenacho, Chief Corporate Governance Officer, Norges Bank Investment Management
Caroline Laurie, Head of Sustainability, Kingfisher
Ann Søndermølle Rendbæk, Investor Relations Manager, Novo Nordisk
12:00pmKeynote: The key role of Government in aligning business, investment and sustainability
Saker Nusseibeh CBE, CEO, International, Federated Hermes
in conversation with the FT
2:00pmPanel: Can passive and smart beta investors also be responsible investors?
The market is awash with sustainable passive investment strategies and fund opportunities as the industry seeks meet investor appetite with products to meet every interest and category. However, in contrast to active strategies where investors may go to companies to discuss ESG considerations, ESG-themed passive or smart beta products rely on data from sustainability reports and third party providers. On top of this the lack of consistency in language, standards and data still leave much room for manoeuvre in labeling and marketing. How can investors look beyond the jargon to identify the real prospects that align with their ESG, stewardship and return expectations? As the industry learns as it goes, how is this market evolving beyond ESG screens? To what extent are passive fund manager in a position to use their buying power to induce positive market change?
Nico Aspinall, Chief Investment Officer, B&CE, Provider of The People's Pension
2:40pmInsights - Getting the ESG metrics right by choosing the right metrics
Data providers play an increasingly important role in gathering, assessing and scoring information about corporate ESG practices. However this is a complex landscape, as the number of data providers grows, all with proprietary sourcing, research and measuring methodologies, which are often uncorrelated to traditional investment metrics. How can investors navigate this environment and decide which philosophy is most accurate? Is greater transparency needed about how data is acquired, aggregated, weighted and analysed, and how materiality is defined? In this session we hear from three data providers who share insights on the cutting edge innovations being developed to measure ESG
4:00pmActivism in Action Case Study
Edward Mason, Head of Responsible Investment, Investment Division, Church Commissioners for England
4:25pmTo engage or divest?
The issue of activism is highly charged and complex for both equity and bond investors. The number of institutions committed to cutting fossil fuel, tobacco and other ‘socially objectionable’ allocations from their portfolios continues to grow, but alongside that is a growing view, led by some leading organisations, that it can be better to say invested and drive change in business practices. What are the benefits and limitations of each approach, and where are the information gaps? To what extent are concerns around returns, and fiduciary duty causing some funds to second guess their divestment policies in favour of engagement? Without a vote at the table, what tools can fixed income investors use to influence management behaviour?
Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change
Christina Olivecrona, Senior Sustainability Analyst, AP2; Chair,Council of Ethics of Swedish AP Funds
5:15pmConcluding remarks: Next Steps and Action Points
A summary of the day’s discussions and outline key take-aways and action points for all stakeholders, including concrete steps that could be taken to map the next stage of the ESG investing journey. These action points will be reviewed at the next event in 2021
5:30pmChairman’s closing remarks followed by networking reception for speakers, delegates and guests
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GLG is the world’s knowledge marketplace. We connect decision makers to insights from experts, so they can act with the confidence that comes from true clarity. Our network of 700,000 professionals is the world’s largest and most varied source of first-hand expertise, and we recruit hundreds of new experts every day. We bring the power of insight to every great professional decision.
With 30 offices in 20 countries, Linklaters serves our clients as a team, with a common focus on innovation, efficiency and agility.
We are market leaders in advising on incoming Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) requirements of investors and regulators, and how to manage evolving governance and disclosure requirements on climate and ESG financial risk issues.
Linklaters’ integrated ESG practice comprises sustainability, finance, corporate and pensions lawyers across the firm. We advise on all three strands of ESG, with particular expertise in the relevance of climate related financial risks to corporate or fund governance, risk management and disclosure obligations and in how to respond to activist campaigns. We have also undertaken governance reviews and advised on human rights, ABC risks and broader risk management. Our clients include governments, corporates, financial institutions, funds and asset managers. We hold Band 1 rankings for each of sustainability, governance and pensions in the legal directories.
SCB Group is a world-leading commodity brokerage with a mission to promote the adoption of a low carbon future. Its method is to assist buyers and sellers close trades in environmental products. In this context, SCB has over the last 13 years arranged transactions that have abated over 300 million MT of CO2 through activities in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
SCB for over ten years has been the world’s largest biofuel broker, holding leading positions in physical and derivative markets including Biodiesel; Ethanol; Waste; Methanol; Carbon; Agriculture; Battery materials; LNG and Energy Derivatives. SCB is the market leader in its core markets. SCB assists companies lower their CO2 footprint through carbon abatement programs and adopting low carbon alternatives.
SCB has a stable, diverse, aligned management team and strong Board, and has a positive, progressive business culture
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The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), is the pre-eminent European forum for investor collaboration on climate action and the voice of investors taking action for a prosperous, low carbon, future. It has 157 mainly mainstream investors across 12 countries with over €21 trillion assets under management. IIGCC’s mission is to mobilise capital for the low carbon transition by working with business, policy makers and investors to encourage public policies, investment practices and corporate behaviours that will address the long term risks and opportunities associated with climate change.
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Since 2006, Global Sustain provides a wide range of services and solutions to support its members and clients succeeding triple bottom line results. Based in London and Athens, with offices in Berlin, Brussels, London, New York and Nicosia, Global Sustain offers innovative online and off-line services related to sustainability, corporate responsibility, responsible investing, green economy, business ethics and excellence, transparency, human rights and accountability. Its members include corporations, non-governmental and non-profit organisations, municipalities and local authorities, academic institutions, media, professional bodies, service providers, chambers, think tanks and other public or private entities. Global Sustain:
- Facilitates synergies among members, between the corporate and third sectors as well as key stakeholders.
- Effectively communicates CSR and sustainability news, reports, events and information on behalf of members and clients, with a global audience.
- Is a UN Global Compact signatory and founding member of the Global Compact Network Hellas since 2008 and member of United Nations Global Compact Network Belgium, since November 2012.
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- Participates in, presents at and officially supports local, regional and international conferences, events and exhibitions organised by prestigious companies and organisations, including Economist Conferences, Ethical Corporation, FT Business, Social Capital Media - SOCAP/Europe, Transparency International, TBLI Conference B.V., EBD Group AG, Institute of Directors (IOD) India, Enterprise Asia and many others.
- Organises conferences and events, including the Sustainability Forum, a training, networking and professional development event.
- Conducts research on sustainability, CSR, the green economy and the third sector for members and clients.
- Operates as a 100% carbon neutral firm.
- Has published ten (10) Yearbooks to date.
- Can be followed on Twitter (@GlSustain), Facebook (Global Sustain), LinkedIn (Global Sustain), Instagram (Global Sustain) and YouTube (Global Sustain).
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