Although born in Brooklyn, New York, Robert Rubinstein is a longtime resident of The Netherlands. So, back in 1999, when he founded a company to introduce the then radicalconcept of sustainable investing, it seemed only natural to name it after his distant former hometown: Brooklyn Bridge - Connections to the Future B.V. (BB).
The concept behind this company was the introduction of TBLI – Triple Bottom Line Investing.
From its early days, the aim of this small company was and is unabashedly global: It seeks nothing less than to re-educate the financial world.
TBLI is a concept that Rubinstein pioneered, which puts forward the notion that a truly sound investment is one that provides, not just financial rewards, but social and environmental ones, too. With success, since the concept has now become a household name in the financial world. The small Brooklyn Bridge company evolved into an entire holding: TBLI GROUP™.
TBLI CONFERENCE™ is a daughter-company of this holding and grew to be the organizer of the largest comprehensive international networking and education opportunity on ESG and investing in the world, held each year in both Europe and Asia.
What started out as a small intimate meeting of various thought leaders in the ESG grew into a large international conference. We started at Rotterdam School of Management in a small auditorium with a few break out sessions. Later, more session and more rooms were added to accommodate the growth in attendance. Impact Investing was added to the program as was Climate Risk.
TBLI CONFERENCE was the first event addressing all the asset classes and not just public equity. That formula combined with a well curated and soulful event became the winning formula that attracted continuously more asset owners and managers. The asset owners and managers came to learn about the state of the art, get inspiration, raise awareness in order to properly start asset allocation towards ESG and Impact Investing.
Educational Outreach and Financial Networking
In existence for over 15 years, TBLI CONFERENCE consists of two annual conferences. These two-day events give the world’s leaders on sustainability an opportunity to network and exchange information on the latest developments in screening, auditing, reporting, SRI analysis, corporate citizenship, indexes and research.
Programs always include keynote speeches to open and close the conference, two plenary sessions and a varying number of workshops to freely choose from. Traditionally, the conferences cover a wide range of sustainability-related issues, but still firmly keep their focus on sustainable investment. The program is developed in cooperation with network partners and sponsors to ensure it addresses the topics important for the TBLI network and also gives credit to specific issues in the host region or country.
During the two conference days, attendees have ample opportunity to network and find new business partners. The first day closes with an invitation-only Grand Dinner, which provides investors and sustainable entrepreneurs with exclusive networking opportunities.
The following topics attracted the most attention in workshops and beyond. TBLI will be following up on these discussions within its network and with the upcoming TBLI conferences:
- Impact Investment – clearly the number “one” topic discussed at the conference.
- Micro-finance – intense discussion about the impact and the role micro-finance can have in the future: What issues need to be addressed to improve access to capital markets in under-served regions? What are promising future business models for micro-finance institutions?
- Integrated Reporting: A successful and useful integrated report involves more than stapling together a CSR and financial report. It involves a different approach to KPI selection, integrating balance scorecards and shared value creation
- Integration of ESG(Environment, Social and Governance issues) into Portfolios: Attendees, especially institutional investors, agreed that there is still a lot of work to be done, especially in the field of Wealth Management and in educating clients
- Discussions at the conference showed a growing demand for sustainable investment products and services, especially in the field of Wealth Management, infrastructure, project finance, private equity and social enterprise.
ESG Leader Awards
The ESG Leader Awards not only reward but also aim at inspiring the financial industry towards sustainable investment.
Together with dedicated sponsors, TBLI hands out 5 prestigious industry trophies at the TBLI CONFERENCE EUROPE. These Awards, presented during our traditional Grand Dinner, recognize companies or organizations whose efforts further the cause of sustainable investment and who demonstrate exemplary performance in the field of ESG and Impact Investing.