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February 23, 2021 | EP. 111

Europe’s Leading Investment House: Creating ESG Strategies Since 2009

Candice Brenet, Managing Director, Head of Sustainability and Digital Transformation at Ardian

Ardian, a global PE firm with European roots, manages US$110BN. Since Ardian started their ESG platform, they have completed 130 ESG roadmaps for companies in their portfolio, using their Sustainable Buyout Investment approach. Candice Brenet, Managing Director and Head of Sustainability and Digital Transformation talks about how their process has reduced both emissions and employee absenteeism by 50% at one of London’s major airports.

February 16, 2021 | EP. 110

Schroders Completes ESG Integration across all Investments in 2020

Sarah Bratton Hughes, Head of Sustainability, North America at Schroders

Hughes discusses their process for ESG integration, which includes Schroders Sustainability Accreditation, enabling clients to distinguish how ESG factors are considered across the firm’s products. The second phase of their process will include impactIQ, a platform encompassing the firm’s proprietary tools. impactIQ will enable Schroders to identify companies that build businesses that can adapt to social and environmental pressures in order to reduce risks and increase returns.

January 21, 2021 | EP. 109

New Analytics Tools Provide ESG Data on Thousands of Companies

Reto Ringger, CEO & Founder, Globalance

Ringger brings 25 years of experience as a pioneer in sustainable finance to his new company, Globalance. The company is designed to be an interactive platform for investors to assess current portfolios against other models and indexes. Ringger talks about how investors can use the Globalance Footprint, an analytic tool that provides economic, social, and environmental impact information about investments in the 6,000 companies that Globalance covers. The Globalance World Portfolio is another tool that allows investors to compare the climate impact of their portfolios against industry standard investment indexes like the S&P 500.

January 11, 2021 | EP. 108

ISS ESG’s New Indexes Raise the Bar on Diversity & Governance

Viola Lutz, Associate Director & Head of Investor Consulting at ISS ESG

Lutz describes the new US Diversity Index, the first of its kind for US companies and directors that includes ethnicity along with gender. We also discuss the launch of the Governance QualityScore (GQS) Index family, designed to help investors identify large and mid-cap companies with strong board structure and shareholder rights as well as those aligned with UN Global Compact principles. In addition, we talk about ISS ESG’s role working with institutional investors to explore climate-related risks through a suite of possible solutions.

Open the Attachments tab to read Lutz's recent article at ISS ESG: Conversations on Climate.

January 4, 2021 | EP. 107

Diversity Wins, Inclusion Matters

Eve Ellis, Wealth Advisor, William Blair

Ellis, together with Nikolay Djibankov, leads the Matterhorn Group at William Blair, a full-service wealth advisory group developing and executing sophisticated financial and philanthropic plans for individuals, businesses, and nonprofit institutions. Ellis and I talk about their two portfolios: The Gender Parity Strategy and the The Matterhorn/Refinitiv Diversity & Inclusion Strategy. Ellis explains how the companies they own incorporate a diversity and inclusion social contract into stakeholder engagement. According to Ellis these companies will be the winners in performance and customer loyalty and attract a high quality workforce. Ellis also belongs to the Thirty Percent Coalition and working groups at Intentional Endowment Network, and US SIF to advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

December 28, 2020 | EP. 106

Labeled Bonds: The Secular Shift to a Sustainable, Global Economy

James Rich, Senior Portfolio Manager, Aegon Asset Management

As the key developer of the sustainable investing framework for Aegon Asset Management, Rich focuses on how to invest alongside sustainable megatrends in fixed income. We talk about the huge issuance of labeled bonds ($444B in 2020): green bonds, social bonds, and sustainable bonds. Rich shares a practical approach to identifying sustainable megatrends and opportunities across the fixed income spectrum. We also discuss how sustainability can help identify opportunities to uncover upside return potential and avoid downside risk by investing in companies that are sustainable leaders and improvers.

Visit the Attachments tab for a Bio and Profile on James Rich, as well as the 2020 Aegon Sustainable Fixed Income, Sustainability Report.

December 15, 2020 | EP. 105

ImpactVest: New Private Equity Firm Focuses on Mission Driven Enterprises

Aisha Williams, Founder & CEO at ImpactVest

After eight years doing development work in the public sector as a U.S. Federal Government Boren Scholar, and four years in the private banking industry focused on ESG and SRI, Williams has recently launched ImpactVest, dedicated to private equity impact strategies that use the GIIN (Global Impact Investing Network) tenets. Williams shares the startling statistic that only 4% of impact funds are currently invested in Africa. We talk about the lack of private capital allocation to impact strategies in both developed and developing economies, particularly regarding gender equality, climate risk, and access to financial services.

December 2, 2020 | EP. 104

How ESG Regulation Affects the Cost of Capital

Jake Moeller, Senior Investment Consultant at Square Mile Investment & Research

Jake Moeller, Senior Investment Consultant at Square Mile, talks about the dramatic increase in assets under management going into sustainable and responsible investment strategies globally since 2016, with 30%+ AUM in both the U.S. and Europe incorporating ESG analysis. Moeller and I discuss how Europe continues to be 5+ years ahead of the U.S. in enacting regulatory policies related to greenhouse gas reductions and achieving net zero carbon emissions. He explains how these policies are influencing corporate business models and the cost of capital today.

November 23, 2020 | EP. 103

What’s Ahead for ESG Research and Analytics?

Iyassu Essayas, Director of ESG Research at Parnassus

According to Essayas, the Covid-19 pandemic and the growing number of storms, fires, and other environmental disasters have affected every aspect of ESG analytics across all sectors of the economy. What will this mean over the next few years? Join us for this discussion as Essays explains that ESG metrics will be more dynamic, with more collaboration across data and analytics platforms leading to more standardized ESG methodologies.

November 2, 2020 | EP. 102

How Climate Risk Scores and Scenario Analysis Drive Investor Decisions

Emilie Mazzacurati, Founder & CEO at Four Twenty Seven, Inc.

Four Twenty Seven promotes climate adaptation and resilient investment through the integration of climate science into business and policy decisions, particularly their climate risk scores for listed securities, risk assessments for real estate, and intelligence services for scenario analysis. In our conversation Mazzacurati also talks about the increasing number of carbon neutrality declarations from corporate and government sectors. For example, she walks us through how corporations in the manufacturing sector are applying scenario analysis to opportunities for breakthrough technologies, and how China and the EU can do the same for credit rating risk.
Mazzacurati was named among the Top 100 People in Finance for 2019. Her full bio is included in the Attachments tab of this program.

October 19, 2020 | EP. 101

A New Education & Collaboration Network for Sustainable Finance

Phil Kirshman, Founder, Impact Metropolis

After many years in the asset management industry, Kirshman launched Impact Metropolis as a social network and video hosting site dedicated to the sustainable and impact investing community. According to Kirshman, as sustainable investing becomes more mainstream, collaboration and sharing of information is being impacted. Kirshman describes how Impact Metropolis is both aggregating resources across the sector and providing a platform where individuals and businesses, both new to impact investing and seasoned professionals, can network, promote their services, and connect with others in the field.

October 12, 2020 | EP. 100

Turnkey Group Focuses on Risk & Sustainable Growth in Asian Markets

Tony Wines, CEO of Turnkey Group

Turnkey Group is a global company focusing on high growth markets in Asia. Wines started the company in 2016 to provide a risk and sustainability platform for company strategy. We talked about enhancements to Turnkey’s Sustain-Tech software suite, particularly setting KPIs that include corporate security, regulatory changes, more transparent supply chains, and managing employee health and safety. The enhancements also enable live collaborations between teams in the field and company management.
You can link to Turnkey's website from the Attachments tab of this podcast program.

October 6, 2020 | EP. 99

Re-Nuble: Using Yesterday’s Leftovers to Fuel Tomorrow’s Abundance

Tinia Pina, Founder and CEO, Re-Nuble

Pina walks us through the cutting edge technology that converts food waste into industrial grade organic fertilizer for soil-less and vertical farms. The technology is carbon negative and has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6-12,000 metric tons CO2e per year while increasing produce yields by 20% to 30%. The implications for urban agriculture are extraordinary, and offer an exciting growth opportunity for sustainable finance professionals.
Check out her website for more information.

September 28, 2020 | EP. 98

How Marsh & McLennan Is Addressing the Sustainable Finance Revolution

Alex Bernhardt, Director, Marsh & McClennan Companies Advantage group

Marsh & McClennan, the world's leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people, offers sustainable finance capabilities across all four businesses (Marsh, Mercer, Oliver Wyman and Guy Carpenter). In our podcast, Bernhardt talks about how the sustainable finance revolution is impacting asset valuations related to physical and transition climate risk as well as workplace social issues like systemic racism. An important topic given that ESG concerns impact more than $80 trillion in global assets under management.
Alex Bernhardt can be reached at Alex.Bernhardt@oliverwyman.com.

September 21, 2020 | EP. 97

Managing Risk with Fossil Fuel Free Investment Strategies

Peter Krull, CEO & Director of Investments, Earth Equity Advisors

Earth Equity Advisors, a 4-time Best for the World B Corp., specializes in fossil fuel free investment strategies for clients. Krull discusses his methodology, a balanced portfolio strategy focused on lowering risk while continuing to be invested in companies that have long-term growth opportunities in the next economy. Earth Equity Advisors has also recently launched a robo advisory platform for people just starting their investment experience.
See the Attachments tab for information about Earth Equity Advisors SMA and Fossil Fuel Free investment portfolios.

September 14, 2020 | EP. 96

How Can Meditation Help Finance Professionals?

Monique Class, Clinical Instructor of Nursing, Yale University and Sheldon Lewis, Meditation Teacher and Mind-Body Practitioner

Whether you’re a regular meditator or new to the practice, this podcast will help you understand why thousands of finance professionals and people from all walks of life are incorporating meditation into their daily routines. Class and Lewis have been teaching meditation classes together for years--now online because of Covid-19. Class, in addition to teaching at Yale, is a Family Nurse Practitioner and a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Holistic Health at The Center for Functional Medicine in Stamford, CT. She walks us through some of the fascinating science and explains how meditation triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the brain that calms us down when we’re stressed out. And Lewis, who consults with clinics and is in private practice in New York City, explains how meditation is a natural process we can do anytime, any place. And, remarkably, as he demonstrates, we only need a minute to start feeling better!
For more information check out The Center for Functional Medicine

September 9, 2020 | EP. WEBCAM

Webcam: ESG Fund Performance Amidst Covid-19

Paul Ellis, Paul Ellis Consulting; Katherine Davidson, Portfolio Manager/Global Sector Specialist at Schroders; Marie-Sophie Pastant, Head of the ETF & Index Management team, BNP Paribas Asset Management; Jake Moeller, Senior Investment Consultant at Square Mile Investment Consulting & Research

In investment management, performance during a crisis is a way to highlight a fund’s strength or weakness. Indeed, proving that your fund performed better than the market over a long period can drive AUM growth. In the current crisis, 66% of sustainable funds have performed better than their category average, according to Morningstar Direct data. But, our current challenges aren't over. So, while the resilience of ESG has been documented, can it continue to weather even the biggest of storms?

August 31, 2020 | EP. 95

Palladium Catalyzes Inclusive Growth Towards Financial & Social Impact

Christina Shim, Managing Director, Commercial Innovation Practice for the Americas & Head of New York office at Palladium

Shim talks about Palladium’s focus on inclusive growth beyond Covid-19. By acting as a  catalyst, Palladium helps individual companies, for example a mining company or a multinational chocolate company, to broaden their thinking to include the circular economy. By collaborating across sectors, including governments, NGO’s, and local economies, a company can achieve both profitable and sustainable growth.

August 24, 2020 | EP. 94

Refinitiv Expands ESG Data Integration to Lipper Funds

Elena Philipova, Global Head ESG Proposition at Refinitiv

Philipova talks about the July 7 debut of Refinitiv’s Lipper Fund ESG Scores, which is expanding ESG data integration to the universe of funds Lipper tracks. We also discuss enhancements in Refinitiv’s ESG scoring methodology, making it more data driven by addressing major challenges like materiality, transparency stimulation, and size bias, and providing more industry-peer comparisons for advisors and companies.

August 17, 2020 | EP. 93

How Kesi Gibson Makes Sustainable Fashion Possible and Profitable

Kesi Gibson, Chief Executive Officer, Founder, Club Debut & Founder, Creative Director, KYU BY KESI

How can the fashion industry promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals? Gibson talks about Club Debut, her value-driven, sustainable fashion platform for independent designers and creatives, as well as her own design line, KYU BY KESI, and how these companies are "Putting Humanity Back into Fashion (TM)."

August 10, 2020 | EP. 92

Companies that Prioritize Diversity & Transparency Outperform Peers

Yusuf George, Managing Director of Corporate Engagement, JUST Capital

George talks about the results of JUST Capital’s recent surveys on racial equity and workforce diversity, including how companies in the Russell 1000 Index disclose their workforce demographics. Strikingly, a small group of companies that disclose their demographics by race/ethnicity, gender, and job category have outperformed their peer groups by 6% (May 31, 2019 - May 31, 2020).

August 3, 2020 | EP. 91

Nuveen Survey Shows Dramatic Increase in Responsible Investing

Megan Fielding, Senior Director, Responsible Investing at Nuveen & Head of Strategic Partnerships

Here are just a few striking data points Fielding talks about: (1) US investors poured $20.6B into ESG focused funds in 2019. (2) 70% of advisors cite superior risk management and better performance as the top reasons why their high network clients invest in responsible investing, as opposed to 39% in 2018. (3) For the first time a majority of investors, 53%, cited performance as their main motivation for investing in responsible investments.

July 27, 2020 | EP. 90

Bruce Herbert: Using Shareholder Engagement to Change Corporate Behavior

Bruce Herbert, CEO of Newground Social Investment, SPC & Investor Voice, SPC

Herbert is an independent shareholder advocate, and a pioneer in the field beginning in the 90s when he served on the national governing board with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). He talks in detail about the engagement process and how to convert an adversarial approach into a conversation that brings results, including working with McDonalds, one of the largest users of potatoes, to get farmers to decrease their use of toxic pesticides.

July 20, 2020 | EP. 89

Rocky Mountain Institute and the Banking Sector Unite on Climate Finance

Radhika Lalit, Director, Center for Climate Aligned-Finance, Rocky Mountain Institute

Lalit talks about Rocky Mountain Institute’s new Center for Climate-Aligned Finance, which is bringing the financial sector to the table to evaluate how to bring their portfolios into alignment with a zero-carbon future. The Center is collaborating with Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and other partners to develop an engagement platform with sectors such as oil and gas, steel, and utilities to drive decarbonization. Visit climatealignment.org for more details.

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Welcome!

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­­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.

 

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