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My guest today, Dr. Rupini Deepa Rajagopalan, was tasked with launching the ESG office in 2018 at Berenberg Wealth and Asset Management. Berenberg is one of the oldest banks in the world, founded in 1590. As Head of ESG Office, Rupini has been working with its asset management teams to integrate ESG strategies throughout their client portfolios and its funds. We also talk about key takeaways from their 2021 ESG Survey (112 respondents, primarily from UK and Germany and included a mix of asset managers, family offices, charities and private investors) and particularly how the engagement process with companies reveals key ESG metrics that can be difficult to determine without rigorous active management.
A recent Gartner survey reports a huge increase in spending on information security and risk technology: from 6.4% in 2020 to 12.4% in 2021, with spending reaching $150 billion. Joining us today is Penelope Bise, Chief Cybersecurity Expert at ImpactVest. Bise has an important message, especially for smaller financial services firms, who are even more at risk from phishing by malicious hackers. She explains that increased remote work because of the Covid-19 pandemic is heightening the risk because when workers are remote they tend to be less careful of cybersecurity, and the “Black Hats” are getting more sophisticated. Listen in while Bise gives tips to make sure you build in the right kinds of security systems and your employees adhere to the best protocols when working globally and while using other devices, like mobile phones.
On the program today Campos, Head of Sustainable Investment for the Americas at FTSE Russell, gives key takeaways from the 2021 edition of the Global Asset Owner Sustainability Survey. This survey comprises institutional asset owners, most managing 10B+ in assets. In 2021, 84% of the respondents said they are implementing or evaluating sustainable investment considerations compared to 53% in 2018. In 2020, ESG asset allocation reached $35 trillion, and is expected to grow to $50 trillion by 2025. The two biggest drivers for institutional asset owners in 2021 were mitigating long term investment risk and avoiding reputational risk, particularly in the European and Asian markets. In the US, the biggest driver is better risk adjusted performance.
Too often investors focus only on the E and the G in ESG investing: the environmental and governance factors. But what about the S factor, and why should investors and advisors care? Joining us today is Bonnie-Lyn de Bartok, Founder, CEO, Director of The S Factor Co., and she’s going to tell us why, and how machine learning and big data can help investors reduce risk and improve performance. I’ve known de Bartok for several years now, and to say that she’s a leader in sustainable finance is an understatement. Here are just some of her accomplishments in 2021: She won first place in UBS's Future of Finance Challenge; was selected a Global AIFINTECH100 Top 100 Innovator of the Year; is one of Canada’s Top Women in Fintech; and founded one of the Top 14 Social Impact Investing Startups in Canada.
MSCI has just come out with its new Climate Search and ESG Rating Tool that gives investors and advisors access to data on two of the most important climate issues: temperature rise and decarbonization targets. Bruce Kahn is Executive Director and Climate Solutions Specialist at MSCI and teaches Sustainable Finance at Columbia University. Kahn joins us today to explain how this new tool will measure whether a company will stay within its portion of the shared carbon budget, which has been established by the Paris Agreement and modeled by TCFD. The Climate Search and ESG Rating Tool is doing this for over 2,900 companies, giving investors a much more nuanced look at climate risk within their portfolios.
Climate Change is a Mega Trend that is reshaping economies and markets, perhaps for decades to come. Casey Clark, Deputy Chief Investment Officer and Global Head of ESG Investments at Rockefeller Asset Management, calls this the Climate Change Flow Through Effect, which he believes is positively impacting stock prices. Clark talks about how this mega trend is affecting public policy, consumer preferences, and technological advances. He highlights the impact on stock performance as seen in FTSE’s Environmental Opportunity Index, which has outperformed the traditional FTSE Global All Cap Index by 4.6% annualized over the past five years, as of August 31, 2021.
HEVO’s new commercial partnership with Oakridge National Laboratories will revolutionize wireless EV charging. Jeremy McCool, Founder and CEO of HEVO, a pioneer in EV wireless charging, software, and services, describes how this new partnership gives HEVO access to Department of Energy EV charging technologies, accelerating the development of faster charging times, vehicle to grid access, and dynamic inroad lane charging. We also talk about how $350B of CAPEX pledged by automakers will increase manufacturing capacity as well as reduce barriers to ownership. Consumers will be able to purchase an EV through a subscription model, thereby reducing upfront costs and democratizing adoption of EV mobility.
Climate experts are telling us that Planet Earth is in “code red.” My guest today, Jeff Gitterman, Co-Founding Partner and creator of Sustainable, Impact, and ESG Investing Services at Gitterman Wealth Management, explains what code red means for the financial markets. What Gitterman calls “The Great Repricing,” is catalyzing asset repricing across all regions, asset classes, and sectors. Gitterman, an expert in climate related portfolio strategies, walks us through the investment opportunities related to this repricing and the transition to a low-carbon economy.
How can investors participate in a whole-economy transition in developing markets while achieving robust returns? My guest today is Shami Nissan, Head of Sustainability at Actis, a leading global investor in sustainable infrastructure, and in 2019, the second largest renewable energy installer in the world. We discuss exciting investor opportunities in renewables, digital infrastructure, and real estate. Nissan explains how a whole-economy approach is achieving successful financial performance as well as social and environmental impact, leading to repeat investor participation in their latest and largest energy fund.
The building industry is transforming as energy efficiency, lower maintenance costs, and green technologies create safer, healthier, more productive work environments. My guest today, Trenton Allen, Managing Director & CEO of Sustainable Capital Advisors, explains how Public and private partnerships are driving $300 billion in sustainable urban infrastructure opportunities over the next 5 years. Allen has recently been appointed to the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, which provides advice and recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Energy. He and I talk about the incredible impact this kind of development will have in driving economic development across the U.S., like providing thousands of jobs in sustainable construction and retrofits as well as maintenance and operations. Allen explains some of the financial mechanisms that are used, like tax credits, cash in lieu of grants, and direct capital investment.
Tags: Energy Infrastructure, Public-Private Partnerships, Energy Efficiency, Green Building
Asset managers and advisors looking to integrate scenario analysis into their ESG portfolios, benchmarks, and indexes can now use Entelligent’s Smart Climate Technology. Entelligent is the first to develop and be granted a US patent for using scenario analysis in a technology that assesses climate-related risks. My guest today, Pooja Khosla, Executive VP of Client & Product Development at Entelligent, walks us through scenarios for carbon taxes, renewable energy subsidies, company alignment with net zero, and regulatory reporting and compliance with TCFD and the EU taxonomy and the Principles for Responsible Investment.
Today’s podcast is about hydrogen--what many of the largest industrial companies believe is the future of energy. In October 2021, HY24, the largest investment platform dedicated to financing clean hydrogen energy, was launched by a joint venture between Ardian and Five T Hydrogen. Amir Sharifi, the CIO of HY24 and the energy transition lead at Ardian, explains how the €500bn CAPEX commitment from large industrial companies as well as the €80bn in government subsidies is driving the development of clean hydrogen. Sharifi explains that his team is mobilizing €1.5bn for its first private investment fund in the EU, Asia, and the Americas, with the goal of achieving €15bn by 2027.
One hundred million Americans are contributing to 401(k) retirement plans, but few know that many of these plans invest in fossil fuels, deforestation, private prisons and other companies that may not be aligned with their values. My guest on today’s program, Andrew Behar, CEO of As You Sow, explains that many companies who sponsor 401(k) plans are contradicting their own stated sustainability goals. For example, companies like Apple, Disney, Microsoft, and Visa all have ambitious ESG targets, but the investment choices in their plans often include major GHG polluters and companies that are burning down the Amazon rainforest. Behar and I also talk about As You Sow’s exciting new programs: “As You Vote,” for proxy voting, and the “Activate Network,” that works with financial advisors to empower shareholders.
How concerned do you think U.S. investors are about how the companies they invest in behave? Listen to today’s program to find out the results of Schroders’ annual Investor Study. My guest is Sarah Bratton Hughes, Global Head of Sustainability Solutions at Schroders. We discuss how climate change, corporate accountability, and social issues in the workplace are driving changes in how investors, both individual and institutional, are making portfolio allocation decisions.
After years of expectations, investors are finally pouring money into Green Bonds. Why is this happening now? On today’s program I talk to an expert in green fixed income asset management. Samantha Palm is Portfolio Managerof the Parnassus Fixed Income Fund. Parnassus Investments has been a pioneer in green fixed income investing since 1992. We talk about how investors and asset managers can choose the best corporate green bonds while avoiding greenwashing and the lack of transparency by issuers.
On today’s episode we’re talking about how you can save 10-20% on transportation costs while investing in green infrastructure. My guest is Tyler Wood, Director of ESG and Sustainability at Gravitas Infinitum, a company that builds and acquires companies and projects that address critical problems like waste plastic, CO2 emissions, and bad water. Wood and I discuss the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that was just passed by the Senate that allocates $1.4B to EV subscription programs. We talk about what this means to the future of low carbon transportation and the use of proceeds from green bonds to fund T4L as well as other Gravitas Infinitum projects.
Is it time for financial advisors and asset managers to review modern portfolio theory (MPT)? The nature of our markets has changed dramatically since MPT became the standard for portfolio diversification. How will the rise of institutional investing, AI and machine learning, and the inclusion of ESG analytics affect the CFA certification and education platform? My guest today, Matt Orsagh, is Senior Director of Capital Markets Policy at the CFA Institute, and he spends his time figuring out answers to these questions. As the Institute’s global ESG, sustainable, and climate change expert, Matt is the perfect person to walk us through how these issues might affect the certification process.
Federated Hermes, with $600B in assets, is one of the largest sustainable asset managers in the industry. Dr. Sotiria Anagnostou shares with listeners how their Responsible Investing Office has implemented a sophisticated in-house ESG data analytics and engagement strategy. Based on more than 20 years of experience, Federated Hermes has honed their approach. Their global stewardship team with cross-disciplinary expertise digs deep into the complexity of each company’s entire business model. This process generates more robust analytics than is typically possible using outside vendors or a checklist approach. Sotiria also explains how the second part of the strategy, company engagement, improves investment outcomes as well as building company relationships.
If you’re an asset manager or investor, how would you like to be able to go through the roughly 150 million studies out there, and compare them with each other to target specific ESG data? My guest, Patrick Uribe, is the CEO of Util, a FinTech startup that uses Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to map and measure the impact of every company in the world on over 2,000 sustainability themes. We talk about how having access to this amount of data gives investors a clear picture of a company’s revenue stream: the entire financial and non-financial ecosystem. While AI and machine learning favor large companies right now, Uribe believes that over time both these technologies will improve the timeliness and quality of data for smaller companies as well.
The ETF that Zhang manages and subadvises for, ECOZ, won the best new ESG ETF for 2020. We talk about how ECOZ’s carbon footprint is 85% lower than the S&P 500 Index. Zhang looks for companies that are focused on economic policy, corporate demand for clean energy, and significantly lower technology costs. These factors drive what Zhang calls the new industrial revolution, with the goal of a net zero carbon economy. We also discuss Zhang’s work as a co-founder of Women in ETFs, an organization with 7,000 members worldwide, that helps women advance from analyst positions to portfolio managers.
Saturna Capital’s Sustainable Equity Fund had an impressive Average Annual Total Return of 16.4% for the three-year period ending May 28, 2021, a 1.5% annualized outperformance versus the S&P Global 1200 index for the same three-year period. Carten and I talk about their stock selection process, which looks for consistently profitable, financially strong companies with low ESG risk factors. Carten promotes corporate gender equality, and we discuss her advocacy work with investment industry boards. Carten and I also talk about Saturna’s history with managing assets for the Islamic community in the U.S., which prioritizes personal and family values, leading to Saturna’s focus on long-term value investing.
Fifty-four percent of social media users use social media to research products and services. On today’s program Evan Zall, Owner and President of Longview Strategies, and I talk about marketing your sustainable investing practice, including how to use digital media under the new SEC guideline. We cover the main challenges asset managers and financial advisors face when they start integrating ESG strategies, like how to talk to clients about these strategies and how to incorporate ESG into your existing marketing plan.
See the attached website link for Longview Strategies
As climate risk management takes center stage for US financial regulators, how can investors, corporations, governments, and policymakers use climate risk analytics and software to manage the risks and opportunities from climate change adaptation. Stacy Swann, CEO of Climate Finance Advisors, talks to me about why “translators” are needed to interpret the forward-looking climate data tools being used today by the financial institutions leading the charge to a low-carbon economy, and particularly the TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) framework, the current industry standard to understand climate-related financial risks.
Shehriyar Antia, Vice President, Head of Thematic Research at PGIM, walks us through their recently published Megatrends Report. How do institutional investors understand climate change risk repricing? How do fixed income investors deal with available data that is estimated rather than reported? How can equity investors turn climate risk into opportunity? Join us for an in-depth discussion of the ways climate change is affecting the investment landscape.
Join Paul as he interviews sustainable finance experts from top companies and global organizations like Trucost, United Nations Capital Development Fund, FTSE Russell, and Allianz Global Investors.
Listen to thought leaders like Amit Bouri, CEO at the Global Impact Investing Network; Mona Naqvi, Head of ESG Product Strategy, North America at S&P Dow Jones Indices; Peter Schechter, Co-Founder at Immigrant Food; and Rachel Gutter, President at International Well Building Institute.
Paul regularly consults with RIAs on ESG marketing and advisor education. He has written for Investments and Wealth Monitor, and co-convened the 2018 and 2019 Sustainable Investing Conferences at the United Nations.