TBLI NORDIC CONFERENCE 2016 will be held in Stockholm at Nasdaq on Sept. 20-21.
We are thrilled that Arvind Narula has agreed to be a keynote speakers. Arvind is an extremely successful entrepreneur who has shown great leadership in developing sustainable agriculture, social enterprise and Impact Investing in Asia.
Turning Green into Gold
For Arvind Narula, building an organic agricultural empire is just one of a list of amazing lifetime accomplishments. By Bruce Scott Published in Masalathai
Guest Blog Post by Jonelle Maltay about the Plenary Interview conducted with Gregory Da Re (Chief Strategist of Inter-American Investment Corporation) and Julie Muraco (Partner of Praeditis Group) at TBLI CONFERENCE EUROPE 2015.
Views and opinions are that of the writer and are not the official views of TBLI CONFERENCE.
The interview moderated by Robert Rubinstein, CEO TBLI GROUP, posed some tough but vital questions about the use of platforms to further impact investing goals. The interviewees were Gregory Da Re who is Chief Strategist of the Inter-American Investment Corporation and Julie Muraco who is managing partner of Praeditis Group.
Much of the discussion surrounded the idea of building platforms for Impact investing and deal flow.
All participants were in agreement that understanding investor needs requires a lot of work and research. The fundamental problem as told by many investors is that there is a lack of investable opportunities, so this places the burden of proof onto organizations like the inter-American investment Corporation and Praeditis serving as somewhat of an intermediary between the investors and the projects. These organizations are tasked with bringing a quality pipeline to investors.
The problem is not a lack of projects according to the interviewees who asserted that there is no shortage of suggestions each week, however, the issue is identifying those with not only potential but visible bankability and scale. Platforms go far beyond delivering ideas because they also connect people and structure deals. But as Robert asked, despite the good intentions, the real question is: where are all the good deals?
Inspiring Keynotes confirmed.
We are very pleased to announce our 2 keynote speakers!
Erica Karp, Founder and CEO, from Cornerstone Capital will take the stage as the Opening Keynote. Cornerstone Capital is among the world’s leading voices in the field of sustainable investing and finance. "Finance, done properly is beautiful and economics is poetry" she passionately explains in this recent video interview with Bloomberg about 'How Are Women the Next Emerging Market?'.
Hendrik Jordaan, President and CEO of One Thousand & One Voices, is our Second Keynote. Within one year he has created a movement of global, influential families around the premise that in order to drive economic development of which people can be proud, private family capital is the answer, not philanthropy. View this interview he just had with CNBCAFRICA to find out why we are very much looking to hear his keynote.
TBLI CONFERENCE™, a global ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and impact investing forum for asset owners and managers, presented the ESG Leaders Awards 2013 at its 24th conference, held in Zurich on November 14/15, 2013. TBLI has been bringing together thought leaders and practitioners in the sustainable finance industry for the past 15 years, with events held across Asia, Europe and the US.
Angela de Wolff, Founder of ConSer Invest SA, who led the award ceremony as a member of the Jury, highlighted the positive trend observed for this year's Awards
Abigail Noble leads the work on impact investing at World Economic Forum. She is the co-author of the World Economic Forum’s recent publications on Impact Investing From Ideas to Practice, From the Margins to the Mainstream. Through her work, Abigail has a good view of the development of impact investing globally.
Is Impact Investing going mainstream, what are current best practices in impact investing, and how can impact investments be structured successfully across all asset classes? These and other questions on the minds of Family Offices, Asset Owners and Wealth Managers will be addressed at TBLI CONFERENCE USA 2014 in 7 sessions specifically around impact investing:
Already one week has passed since our TBLI CONFERENCE NORDIC 2014 and debut in the Nordic region. It was a wonderful, intimate gathering of people from the ESG and Impact Investing world. We are very grateful for the support you have all given us!
We look forward coming back to the Nordic region in 2015.
With almost 150 participants coming from various industries in US, Asia and Europe, it was highly rewarding and thanks to all who participated we were able to offer many different perspectives.
We're happy to announce 3 more speakers who are confirmed for TBLI CONFERENCE @BOOTH/KELLOGG 2015, coming up on January 23rd. We proudly present:
Tasha Seitz (Chief Investment Officer, Impact Engine, USA )
Tasha Seitz has been a technology venture capital investor with JK&B Capital since 1997, focusing on enterprise software, Internet infrastructure and mobile infrastructure investments. She serves on the board of and is the Chief Investment Officer for Impact Engine, where she coaches impact entrepreneurs in fundraising as well as identifying the ever-evolving landscape of impact investors.
Having been part of several technology cycles as a venture capital investor, Tasha has seen the power of the entrepreneurs to create markets and touch people’s everyday lives, and she is a passionate believer in the power of entrepreneurship to make the world a better place.
Impact Engine is a 16-week accelerator program that supports for-profit businesses addressing today’s societal and environmental challenges. We empower entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors to make a collective impact on society by applying smart business principles to the world’s greatest problems.
Ari Frankel (Head of ESG Strategy, Real Estate, Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, USA)
Ari Frankel is Head of ESG Strategy, Real Estate, at Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, based in New York City. He works closely with senior managers around the globe to shape and coordinate comprehensive sustainability and green building programming and related environmental and energy strategies, and participates in sustainability initiatives across Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management and Deutsche Bank Group.
Cynthia Muller (Senior Manager, Impact Investing, Arabella Advisors, USA)
Cynthia Muller leads Arabella Advisor’s impact investing practice. She helps our individual and institutional clients understand the field of impact investing, develop strategies, and structure investments to accomplish their social and environmental goals. Her extensive background in social enterprise and mission investing includes connecting public policy, programs, and capital for emerging social innovations to increase economic opportunities for under-served and marginalized communities.
Read her interesting blog post here about "How wealth advisors can facilitate impact investments".
We're happy to announce 3 more speakers who are confirmed for TBLI CONFERENCE @BOOTH/KELLOGG 2015, coming up in 3 weeks. We proudly present:
Caroline Vance (Vice President - Deutsche Bank, USA)
Caroline Vance supports the Community Development Finance Group’s management of funds for microfinance and has special responsibility for relationships in Central and South Asia. She also manages the administration and investor relations of the FINCA Microfinance Fund B.V. and she supports the team's social performance management and monitoring efforts.
Caroline's presentation will focus on how to demonstrate and talk about impact and how to classify investments according to their different missions. Caroline will also discuss how Deutsche Bank’s Global Social Finance group has been grappling with these challenges in the context of its most recent social investment funds.
Betsy Moszeter (COO - Green Alpha Advisors, USA)
Betsy Moszeter is the COO of Green Alpha Advisors and previously was Senior Vice President of the First Affirmative Financial Network. Green Alpha Advisors is an asset management firm founded on the belief that in order to live and thrive on our planet indefinitely there is a need for economic and technological transition to sustainability.
This interesting SRI survey: First Affirmative Survey, shows how SRI has become entrenched in mainstream finance. Commenting on the survey’s results, Betsy Moszeter says “Having reached the point where one out of two financial professionals have offered SRI options to their clients, it is clear that responsible investment strategies are now a client expectation that advisors need to be equipped to provide.”
Patrick Fisher (Founder & Managing Partner - Creation Investments Capital Management, LLC, USA)
Patrick Fisher is specialist in private equity investment, with a particular experience base in impact investments, social ventures and international/emerging markets. Mr. Fisher founded Creation Investments in 2007, leading the firm in Emerging Markets, Private Equity and Impact Investing since inception. He is a market leader in Emerging Market and Impact Investing, leading investments or providing advisory services on equity and debt transactions in businesses which serve the 'Bottom of the Economic Pyramid' (BOP) through Microfinance / financial services, health care, affordable housing, clean energy, and technology.
We are looking forward to a rich program at TBLI CONFERENCE @BOOTH/KELLOGG 2015, coming up in 10 days. Among the 33 speakers in 10 sessions are:
Leslie Samuelrich (President - Green Century Capital Management, USA)
Leslie Samuelrich is the President of Green Century Capital Management, a socially responsible investment advisory firm that focuses on environmental responsibility and manages Green Century Funds. As president, Leslie is leading the funds' investment strategies and oversees Green Century's business development, communications and shareholder advocacy.
Jointly with Trillium Asset Management and 350º, Green Century recently provided an updated version of the guide 'Extracting Fossil Fuels from Your Portfolio: An Updated Guide to Personal Divestment and Reinvestment'.
Further reading by Green Century: Commentary on 'Top four reasons to divest from fossil fuel companies'.
Chris Fowle (Vice President, Investor Initiatives - CDP, USA)
Chris Fowle is the VP of Investor Initiatives for CDP in North America, managing relationships with investor signatories across CDP's Climate, Water, Forests & Carbon Action programs. Chris previously worked at Chase/JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers.
With its global disclosure system, CDP is equipping investors to be able to engage with their investment portfolio companies on natural capital use, helping to proect their assets against the rirsks fo future regulation on climate change and energy, accesss to water and the protection of natural resources.
CDP recently published the Carbon Action Report 2014
Paul Christensen (Associate Dean, Global Programs and Clinical Associate Professor for Finance - Kellogg School of Management, USA)
Paul Christensen is a Clinical Professor of Finance at the Kellogg School of Management where he teaches courses in microfinance and international business. In addition, he serves as Academic Director for Kellogg’s Global Study Programs and as Senior Advisor for Global Strategy. Prior to Kellogg, Paul was the founder and president of ShoreCap International Ltd. and an associate and Eegagement Manager for the consulting firm, McKinsey and Company.
At TBLI CONFERENCE, Paul will be focusing on lessons learned from the microfinance industry on how to mitigate the risks impact investors face in developing markets.
To learn more about the topics on the agenda and our speakers, view our program online. Sponsorship packages are available - please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
We are honored to welcome Irene Pritzker, President of IDP Foundation, as the Opening Keynote Speaker at TBLI CONFERENCE @BOOTH/KELLOGG 2015 in Chicago.
IDP Foundation's is dedicated to developing programs that are sustainable and move away from aid dependent models. The keystone program of IDP Foundation is the IDP Rising Schools Program launched in 2009 in Ghana with the objective to boost the development of existing low-cost private schools.
Are you interested in becoming a sponsor? Please find more information here.
We are happy to announce our first confirmed speakers:
- Arvind Narula (CEO & Executive Director - Urmatt Ltd - Thailand)
- Ewoud Goudswaard (CEO - ASN Bank NV - The Netherlands)
- Ibrahim AlHusseini (Managing Member - The Husseini Group / The FullCycle Energy - USA)
- Francesca Nugnes (Financial Markets and Information Manager - Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade - Canada)
- Jeanne Stampe (Moderator) (Asia Pacific Finance and Commodities Specialist - WWF)
- Anna Hagemann Rise (Group Communication & CSR Manager - Frosh Aps. - Denmark)
- Yann Gindre (Director Networks and Global Outreach - Principles for Responsibel Investment - UK)
- MaryKate Henlon (Manager Sustainability & Communications - NewForests - Singapore)
Call for speakers
Are you interested in speaking at this event? Please submit your information here.
- Asia Research and Engagement
- Asia Capital Enterprises
- ASN Bank
- Asian Venture Philanthropy Association
- Bhutique Hotel Group
- City Developments
- Credit Suisse
- Clean Energy Advisors
- Eco Regions Indonesia
- Frosh, Denmark
- SEB, Sweden
- Seventy Three Pte
- Taurus Family Office
- Topan AG
- Urmatt Ltd
- Vietnam Holding Asset Management
Call for speakers
Are you interested in speaking at this event? Please submit your information here or get in touch by replying to this email.
Gloria Nelund spent over 30 years in the international investment management industry, namely heading Deutsche Bank’s $50 billion North America Private Wealth Management division. Following retirement she dedicated her efforts to create TriLinc Global Impact Fund, a $1.25 Billion fund for “mainstreet” retail investors in growth-stage loans and trade finance to established SMEs.
TriLinc’s focus is to cultivate businesses in emerging markets to create jobs, grow the middle class and generate measurable positive impact. While many organizations focus on micro-enterprises, TriLinc concentrates on providing growth capital to the “missing middle” – established small to medium sized businesses in stable, emerging markets. (Source: Forbes)
“I spent my whole career in investment management and over my 30 years, I had created, managed and distributed investment products in all channels (Institutional, High Net Worth and Retail) and know what the issues and challenges are of attracting capital in all of them.”
FMO, the Netherlands Development Bank, has supported private sector growth in developing and emerging markets by investing in ambitious entrepreneurs for more than 45 years. With a focus on three sectors of high development impact: financial institutions, energy, and agribusiness, food & water, its core business over the years has been providing debt and equity financing to private enterprises and financial institutions globally.
As demand grew in nascent markets, FMO realized the need among institutional investors to learn from their experience and to better understand how to approach responsible investing in these markets.
Yvonne Bakkum, then Director of FMO Private Equity, believed FMO needed to move the needle and allocate resources for this kind of engagement.
“In terms of stimulation needed, DFIs are doing quite a lot. What we do need is more stimulation from mainstream institutional investors because I think they are talking a lot about impact investing but when you critically analyze what they’re really doing it’s quite marginal especially compared to how much assets under management they have,” says Yvonne.
“I think they are not ambitious enough [...] if you’re really serious about what you want to achieve you can of course change your policies and organizational structures. It should move a bit from ‘nice to have’ to ‘must have’ and the good news is thatthis is a trend that has already begun.”
She now heads FMO Investment Management, a separate entity of FMO, which supports and advises institutional investors by offering a selection of funds with different market based risk-return profiles to suit investor appetite. Their focus is on scalable projects with two indicators in mind across the portfolio: job creation and greenhouse emissions avoidance.
FMO IM’s first fund supports SME financing and closed in 2013 at EUR100 Million. FMO Investment Management recently launched a second fund jointly with NN Investment Partners for emerging market loans. This new fund is a broad based emerging markets private debt proposition with a clear impact angle. It addresses the search for yield and offers portfolio diversification benefits.
FMO Investment Management uses a double approach in its impact measurement model using inputs and outputs of client’s data but also macroeconomics statistics related to countries and sectors to determine progress.
“I would consider all of FMO’s portfolio to be impact investing which is not a point of view that is necessarily shared by all DFIs. We are a development bank and our whole purpose for existing is to have development impact. All our investments are evaluated to have sufficient impact.”
Yvonne Bakkum is moderating Workshop D2 "Impact Investing in Emerging Markets: What have we learned?" during TBLI CONFERENCE NORDIC 2015, taking place in Copenhagen on May 15-16.
Guest Blog Post written by Francisco Preusche during TBLI CONFERENCE™ LATIN AMERICA 2015. Views and opinions are that of the writer and are not the official views of TBLI CONFERENCE™.
“Things that are not measured just don’t happen”.
Regardless of what kind of impact initiative you are working on, whether it is an ESG improvement project, a social enterprise start-up, or any other initiative related to improving a social and/or environmental situation, metrics are essential.
The question is: should we have a unique standardized approach for such projects?
In order to analyze this question, allow me to divide the existing and future impact projects into two categories: start-ups, and mature businesses. Even though in both categories we can find very different industries, and business models, there is one thing that binds each group together:
Guest Blog Post written by Celina Lesta during TBLI CONFERENCE™ LATIN AMERICA 2015. Views and opinions are that of the writer and are not the official views of TBLI CONFERENCE™.
Impact investments have been taking place in different regions of the world for many years now. If financed, many social entrepreneurship, SMEs and NGOs could scale their impact providing solutions to social problems while creating profit. What is the situation in Latin America? What is missing in the region for this trend to grow and be a concrete reality?
Around ten to fifteen years ago, investing in projects with high social and/or environmental measurable impact was something only NGOs and international organizations would do. Today, venture capital is entering the space because many of these kinds of projects are business oriented. They are meant to create profit while solving social and/or environmental problems.
Jane Hughes, from Global Innovative Finance, a member of the panel, shared the experience of the Social Impact Bonds (SIBs). As she explained, what started in the UK as a way of financing impact initiatives has been developing in the US market now for a few years.
Because they are not actually bonds, Hughes argues they are misnamed, “They are funds raised from private investors used to scale up the work of highly effective NGOs which are providing a social service relevant for the community.”
Governments repay the investors based on the success of the project. This type of funding is based on the agreement of the indicators that will account for the success or failure of the project. Regarding regulations, as long as legalities are not in question, it does not need a special legal frame. The implementation of SIBs requires intermediate organizations to identify these high performance NGOs and walk with them during the scaling up process. Independent evaluators can also audit the results.
Patrick Watson, Director of Investment Advisory Services Group and Latin America Director of I-DEV International, had an interesting view of the of impact investments in Latin America. Based in Peru, his work is oriented to help global corporations, investors and SMEs in emerging markets do business together via profitable, high-impact partnerships, mainly in the Andean region.
Guest Blog Post written by Julie Tran during TBLI CONFERENCE™ NORDIC 2015. Views and opinions are that of the writer and are not the official views of TBLI CONFERENCE™.
When looking at the state of our world concerning climate change, poverty, war and financial crisis, most people would agree with me that it’s time to change. Change in our mentalities, consumer habits, the way we work, connect and collaborate with each other. But is it enough? Or do we need to take bolder steps, especially those who manage the flow of monetary system?
During the past 5-10 years impact investment has grown fast where institutional investors like pension funds are playing a big role driving the movement forward. But there is no growth without challenges. From my attendance of the TBLI CONFERENCE™ NORDIC 2015 in Copenhagen, I had a chance to talk with Philippe Desfossés, CEO of the French public pension fund ERAFP, about the development of impact investment and the implications that it contains.
We started the conversation by talking about the challenges that institutional investors are facing at the moment.
Philippe told me that the first challenge is to survive the low return environment that many pension funds are facing. But despite the low return, he believed that the biggest challenge is to find the right balance between financing the transition of our economy to a more sustainable one, and investing in people who can speed up the transition. It’s also about daring to think out of the box and finding new ventures that have the potential to be disruptors. As incremental steps won’t be enough if we truly want to reach for a more sustainable future.
While I was listening to Philippe, I couldn’t help but think back to the “good old days” where I studied innovation from Copenhagen Business School, learning about disruptive versus incremental innovation. Some would argue that incremental innovations are the most effective, as not all disruptive innovations ended up revolutionising the targeted industry. I wondered; could Tesla’s new home-based battery disrupt the electricity market, decentralise the power and bring out the changes that we need? And preferably not only in wealthy developed countries but also in small remote villages in Africa, Latin America or Asia? If we look at this from a very long timespan, perhaps the most interesting questions are; how will Tesla’s innovation bring out a shift in other renewable energy industries? How would that influence the choices of impact investors who are making the decisions right now concerning which renewable industries to invest in?
Guest Blog Post written by Jonelle Maltay during TBLI CONFERENCE™ NORDIC 2015. Views and opinions are that of the writer and are not the official views of TBLI CONFERENCE™.
Andrea Dore, Lead Financial Officer in the Capital Markets Department of the World Bank Treasury sat down with TBLI during the recent Nordic Conference in Copenhagen to discuss her role in the organization and how she has seen the Green Bond develop from an idea to an innovative market that is rapidly expanding.
The Capital Markets Department is the group that raises funds for the World Bank in the international bond market to finance the Bank's development mandate. The World Bank finance projects focused on poverty reduction and inclusive growth across a range of sectors in the developing countries and the issue of climate change is important to the World Bank development mandate.
One of the key points that Andrea noted relates to the growth and diversity of issuers in the Green Bond market. The Green Bond market started with issuances from multilateral development institutions but there has been substantial growth in the Green Bond market with issuances coming from a wide range of issuers including government agencies, corporations and banks. Andrea noted that in the Green Bond market the World Bank has raised over US$8 billion with 100 transactions across 18 currencies.
Guest Blog Post written by Jonelle Maltay during TBLI CONFERENCE™ NORDIC 2015. Views and opinions are that of the writer and are not the official views of TBLI CONFERENCE™.
Andre Laude is Chief Investment Officer in the Western Europe Department of the IFC, which caters specifically to West European investors or sponsors. They handle the relationship between corporate and large financial institutions, as well as Western European DFIs and sponsors with a Cleantech focus that want to scale investments in emerging markets.
What have been the biggest changes at the IFC since you started until now in terms of how the organization has expanded its scope and how that has defined your role?
Asserting relationship management and how we view partners in relation to business generation. It’s not just moving from one transaction to the next, it’s being the advocate of clients over a long-term perspective by choosing partners more strategically to envision a long-term framework of objectives. These partners know today, tomorrow and far along into the future there is an advocate (the IFC) who will always have their best interests in mind and share common objectives. Especially in regards to climate and social governance, which have a lot more responsiveness from sponsors nowadays as awareness of ESG factors are becoming more prevalent.
The climate agenda is one of the key focuses at the moment for many sustainability initiatives. What suggestions do you have for equalizing the disproportionate split between mitigation and adaptation finance?
Technologies need to be developed to help society adapt to the climate challenge. We have to use a magnifying lens on our current practices whilst also looking toward the future to find the right technologies for helping societies and populations that are more vulnerable to climate risks to ride the proverbial tide, especially island nations that are facing climate disruptions the most. We need to think of climate adaptation in a different way by working with innovative business ideas, better methods of production and higher risk equations for things that have huge potential to bring benefits going forward. A lot of this is being conducted as research from our advisory services and within this spectrum there are some ideas that can evolve into investment projects, but some are more in the area of venture capital activity.
Guest Blog Post written by Jonelle Maltay during TBLI CONFERENCE™ Nordic 2015. Views and opinions are that of the writer and are not the official views of TBLI CONFERENCE™.
Perspectives from panelists for Trends in Impact Investing: Nordic and Beyond with Karin Malmberg, Ruth Brännvall, Rodolfo Fracassi & Veronique Menou
The general consensus amongst those in the impact investing community is the need to make it more mainstream. During the workshop on impact investing developments in the Nordic region and beyond, the panelists echoed a resounding theme which was the idea of taking impact investing to wall street and main street by expanding the investable sectors. There is room for growth in renewable trade, social housing, SME banking and more.
The ideal scenario would be to have an impact investor network and knowledge platform, which could provide advice on impact investment strategies to fit specific investor profiles. Regardless of whether an investor is impact first or finance first, to get involved in the impact investing space there must be some willingness to look beyond financial return and see the added non-financial value of social or environmental impact. Investors also need to stop viewing impact first versus finance first as either right or wrong, when in fact they are just two sides of the same coin depending on priority.
One of the key issues is sourcing investment opportunities that have potential for impact as well as financial return – and can be accurately measured in both aspects. For entrepreneurs, an investment readiness program could provide advice on funding and capitalization, answering questions related to identifying investable projects and defining appropriate methodologies and criteria for impact measurement. It is also important to assess what the gaps are in the market for specific investments as well as what existing financial instruments are available and can be expanded for this purpose.
Guest Blog Post written by Ellen Wheeler during TBLI CONFERENCE™ NORDIC 2015. Views and opinions are that of the writer and are not the official views of TBLI CONFERENCE™.
The Inter American Development Bank (IDB), like many DFIs define its development impact with intentionality. Ellen Wheeler sat down with IDB’s Senior Development Effectiveness Specialist, Maria Kronsteiner, to understand their view of sustainability and impact investing going forward.
How does impact investing play a role in IDB?
With deliberateness in mind, IDB’s impact projects follow a strict mandate and project management process in working with SMEs in Latin America gain long-term investments. Its role is to provide solutions in circumstances where commercial banks cannot support investments due to their risk factor. A continuously growing gap that DFIs, like IDB, aim to fill.
The Inter American Development Bank works through financial intermediaries to support SMEs. Roughly 32-percent of their business is directly with SMEs or larger companies that have values chains with SMEs. Their alternative approach is to provide investors with capital to invest in SMEs, with an understanding that there are certain objectives they have to meet, for example environmental and social impacts. IDB provides support in how to go about mitigating risks. IDB aims to ensure that the initiatives they work with are effective and achieve IDB’s objectives. Targets are put in place to measure performance throughout the project. It is important that the projects, while having an environmental and social impact, are also financially viable.
Guest Blog Post written by Dom Manganelli during TBLI CONFERENCE™ NORDIC 2015. Views and opinions are that of the writer and are not the official views of TBLI CONFERENCE™.
What is the future of banking? The finance industry has a role to play not just in the maintenance of retirement funds, but also in the allocation of capital to build what is necessary in society.
At TBLI Nordic we had the fantastic opportunity to sit down with Yvonne Bakkum of FMO, the Dutch development bank who hosts an annual conference titled “the future of banking”, to discuss how the development bank contributes to the competitiveness of modern financial institutions. FMO invests in the private sector in emerging markets, with a portfolio of over EUR 8 Billion across 85 countries.
Investment managers around the world are attempting to diversify by expanding their portfolio in emerging markets, but with the resources available, this activity is primarily limited to Asia. In the current environment of low interest rates, investors are looking for higher yields, while simultaneously, there is an increased interest in impact investment and clients are seeking investments that meet sustainability goals.
The focus on frontier markets is what sets FMO apart, but how to maintain this focus once economies become more developed. Over 45 years of activity, FMO has experienced markets moving from low income to being developed economies. The long term mandate to support low-income countries means that tough decisions need to be made to maintain FMO’s role as a development bank.
As Yvonne explains: "in 2009, FMO stopped doing new business in Brazil, Mexico, Russia, and Kazhakstan because they were at investment grade. They took a lot of attention from our teams, and had relatively easy deal flow. All that capacity was then redirected”. Since then, Africa has become the biggest part of the FMO portfolio.
Finding the right companies who can help support the FMO mandate of creating sustainable impact is a big part of due diligence. From first stages of deal selection, environmental and social officers join deal teams. According to Yvonne, “the result is that we only engage with companies who take these things serious enough and who don’t do it just to comply with what we want, they have to see the value.”
Today, FMO helps to bring about the future of banking by overcoming barriers for investment, by building structures that can be replicated and scaled up. The G20 Innovation Lab recently awarded the FMO pilot initiative in climate finance, called The Climate Development and Finance Facility.
As Yvonne explains, this renewable energy facility addresses "several structural problems in project finance, resolving huge complexity of various financiers."
The new facility combines: 1. Early stage project development funded by donors or governments, 2. A construction facility funded by equity and debt from a development finance institution and frontrunner institutional investors, and 3. A refinance facility which will take out the infrastructure assets once they are operational, delivering a typical debt product, with low risk and steady returns for mainstream institutional investors.
So what is the future of banking? Yvonne believes the future will be "much more balanced, with an awareness of the public utility function of a bank.” FMO finds the best balance of investment opportunities to diversify risk and increase yields by focusing on this sustainable approach to development in frontier markets, delivering propositions for institutional investors that meet their requirements in a dynamic world.
According to Green Peace, the world can rely on renewable energy for 100% of energy needs by 2050. But, what would the costs be? And what would be the impact on geopolitics? Jochen shares his views in this interview he had on Al Jazeera's "Inside Story".
Jochen Wermuth is Founding Partner of Wermuth Asset Management GmbH, a 100% impact family office, and of the Green Gateway Fund, supporting EU resource efficient growth companies. He headed the EU and World Bank financed Economic Expert Group under the Russian Ministry of Finance, was a founding management committee member of OOO Deutsche Bank, started supporting Greenpeace and set up his own firm in the 1990s.
The Green Gateway Fund 2 invests in EU resource efficient growth companies and helps them to grow in emerging markets where energy consumption per GDP is 4x higher than in the EU, which is both profitable and helps to abate climate change.
Needles to say, we're very proud to have him as our Opening Keynote at our upcoming TBLI CONFERENCE EUROPE 2015 in Zürich, this November.
Robert Rubinstein interview on Al Jazeera:Inside Story about Water Scarcity and how can the financial sector address the challenge.
What are challenges and opportunities for (impact)investors in this growth market?
A special session at TBLI CONFERENCE USA 2014 is dedicated to the opportunities and risks investors meet in the global health sector. Join speakers from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Medical Credit Fund and Hearing Health Science in Workshop 8 on 29 May and explore the challenges of healthcare finance, especially in undeveloped markets.
Last week CFA Institute published the interesting interview The Big Picture of Responsible Investment with Rob Lake, an independent advisor who helps asset owners invest responsibly.
The main focus of the interview is on ESG Integration in investments, the relevance of ESG considerations in different asset classes and the challenge of impact measurement.
ImpactAssets has released a free, online Issue Brief that explores how the Millennial generation worldview influences financial strategies: The Millennial Perspective: Understanding Preferences of the New Asset Owners. Authored by ImpactAssets Strategic Initiatives Officer, Lindsay Norcott and Jed Emerson, impact investing expert and ImpactAssets Chief Impact Strategist, the report is the most recent in ImpactAssets’ series of Issue Briefs designed for investors and their wealth advisors.
7,233,093,545 people on the planet - but that was last week. By 2040, the challenge will be to provide nutrition for 9 billion. Cracking the nut on reliable and sustainable food production, the role impact investing plays, and current headaches and success stories will be the topic for Loic de Canniere, from Incofin, specializing in financial inclusion and agriculture finance in emerging markets, Lucian Peppelenbos from the Amsterdam based International Trade Initiative and Bruce Kahn from Sustainable Insight Capital Management during Workshop 7 - Feeding Nine Billion; Impact Investing for Sustainable Food Production and Agriculture at TBLI CONFERENCE USA 2014 (May 29/30).
On the same topic, but focusing on investment opportunities in organic farming in the US, Kevin Egolf presents his case study: "The model of Iroquois Valley Farms is a foundational piece of the puzzle, enabling the growth of autonomous, decentralized, multi-generational organic farm production."
Update on nearly all the Impact Investing Platforms.
For our Swedish friends, here is interview with Robert Rubinstein in Aktuell Hållbarhet this month. Full article can be found here.
"Conclusion: Call it a weed, call it low carbon investment, patient capital, impact investing, or call it what you will, from Rubinstein’s vantage point, the next wave of opportunity sounds like it will be a lot more than hunting for the next green unicorn."
(Writer: Valerie Thompson, source: Deal Market)
"Family Office Elite shares TBLI perspective on the value and opportunities wealth managers can capture with Impact Investing along with TBLI Case studies in South East Asia with PT Selo Kencana Energi in Indonesia."
(Writer: Robert Rubinstein, source: Family Office Elite)
"Institutional investors are increasingly interested in putting their money into social impact, but a gap remains between them and the people on the ground."
(Writer: Ian Potter, source: INSEAD)
InvestWithValues.com is the leading gateway for the $6.57 trillion sustainable, responsible and impact investing community with its new, free educational and informative resource.
"What difference does your money make when you invest or divest? You might be conservative and want nature to remain beautiful forever. You might be liberal and want to undo environmental injustices. The same investment strategies may serve the goals of both. Arguing about the definition of "responsibility" will only lead to more division. "Every dollar is an impact dollar," said Tasha Seitz of Impact Engine at the Jan. 23rd TBLI conference in Chicago."
(Writer: Benjamin Bingham, source: Huffington Post)
"I grew up in Chicago (aka Windy City, City of Big Shoulders, and home to Barack Obama) and recently returned home to participate in the TBLI (Triple Bottom Line Investing) conference on impact investing hosted at the University of Chicago Booth School’s Gleacher Center on 23 January."
(Writer: Gayle Peterson, source: Alliance Magazine)
Interview with Robert Rubinstein
(Source: Real Leaders)
Spainsif, a network partner of TBLI CONFERNCES, is convening its Annual Conference 2014 on 15 October in Madrid.
Click here to learn more about the program and to register.
Spainsif is a nonprofit association, founded by 32 organizations interested in promoting the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI onwards) in Spain, creating a platform that integrates financial institutions, management companies, SRI service providers, nonprofit organizations linked to the SRI and unions.
The association aims to be a platform to meet, generate and disseminate knowledge on Socially Responsible Investing, as well as to promote and awareness on changes in the investment process and the investment community, such as governments, businesses and the public in general.
Investerer 30 millioner i et innovativt fond som satser på bønder i Afrika.
(Writer: Magnus Berg Johanssen, source: hegnar.no)
Idar Kreutzer mener norske investorer må ta innover seg bærekraftbølgen som ruller innover finansmarkedene.
(Writer: Magnus Berg Johanssen, source: hegnar.no)
Storebrand lykkes godt med sitt fond hvor de velger selskaper som er effektive i ressursbruk, har gode styringssystemer og som jobber strategisk med bærekraft.
(Writer: Magnus Berg Johanssen, source: hegnar.no)
DNV-topp tror store bilmerker vil møte store utfordringer med Tesla, at Skandinavia kunne stått for elbilrevolusjonen og at Norge vil kunne få mange batteridrevne ferger innen få år.
(Writer: Magnus Berg Johanssen, source: hegnar.no)
Here is an overview of the leading Impact Investing Platforms with links.
Story originally featured on The Huffington Post.
Robert Rubinstein wants to create an economy that nurtures well-being. For two decades, he has worked tirelessly to encourage business leaders and investors to join him.
Rubinstein’s Triple Bottom Line Investing TBLI Conference is celebrating its 20th anniversary this week in Stockholm, Sweden. The conference, which educates asset owners and managers about investment opportunities with social returns alongside financial returns, has been held 33 times across Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia.
Although he was born in Brooklyn, Rubinstein has lived most of his life in the Netherlands. He became interested in ESG Investing (Environmental, Social, Governance) while working as a magazine publisher in the 1990’s. He ran what he calls, “The first European management magazine on sustainability.” But when his financiers “pulled the plug” on the magazine, Rubinstein sought out new methods for spreading the good word of ESG and SRI (Socially Responsible Investing).
Thus, TBLI was born. That first year, Rubinstein partnered with the Rotterdam School of Management. “There were about a hundred attendees. [RSM] was so risk-averse that I had to sign a contract promising to cover any financial losses personally. In exchange I was allowed to keep 50% of any profits. To their great surprise, we made a profit.”
His vision realized and financially vindicated, Rubinstein went solo the next time around and created the TBLI Group to manage the conference. From the beginning, he set out to distinguish TBLI from other conferences focused on ESG, SRI, and impact investing. He did this by putting more of a focus on provocative and educational content.
“What I remember and what I really liked about those first few years is that we had very aggressive conversations,” Rubinstein recalls. “We encourage attendees to challenge each other - in a polite way of course. Don’t just believe what people are saying, because you’ll never learn that way.”
What set it apart also created friction as the conference found its footing. “This hurt us because some asset owners don’t like being challenged, but we never ask anyone questions that they can’t answer. We just want people to feel that they’ve learned something.”
Rubinstein identifies this conviction with the critically-acclaimed HBO drama The Wire, which has a theme of questioning authority. He compares his conference’s unwillingness to ‘play the game’ to the attitude of lead character Jimmy McNulty, the rebellious detective who was always willing to ask tough questions. “People do what’s right for them, instead of the right thing to do. That’s pretty much the essence of The Wire.”
This attitude has remained an obstacle to getting investors excited about impact investing. “Everybody is still interested primarily in the financial returns. A small group of investors do focus more on impact first rather than returns, but they are a minority. The vast majority, when they invest, they want it to grow. They want a market-rate return.”
Rubinstein’s task, and the task for all of the speakers at the TBLI Conference, is to enlighten these investors. Rubinstein focuses his attention towards asset owners and managers, making this a doubly daunting task.
“Convincing people is easy,” Rubinstein says. “If you ask anybody, ‘do you want a financial return and a social/environmental value?’ Even cocaine traffickers and serial killers would all say, ‘Sure!’ Why would anyone be against that? But that question is not often asked to clients, because asset managers are afraid of their clients. They’re afraid the client will lose money and that they will lose the client. That’s the difficulty.”
Rubinstein also thinks that the media plays a part in mystifying the impact investing world. “It’s not sexy,” he says with a laugh. “They aren’t covering the ESG and impact investing world on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. They’d rather cover artificial intelligence, FinTech, and Blockchain. The two sectors that provide the largest employment in the world are small scale agriculture and hospitality. But people are putting their money into AI, FinTech, and blockchain! Sustainability isn’t sexy.”
Since the Great Recession, interest in impactful investing has increased. Rubinstein sees his mission as one of turning this interest into concrete gains. “There’s a lot of chatter about impact investing [since 2008]. It’s like a fitness club; everybody wants to show that they’re a member of the club, but nobody actually wants to get on the exercise machines. People talk about it because they want to be a part of the club, but it doesn’t always transfer into new money flows.”
Nevertheless, Rubinstein remains optimistic that through socially responsible investing, major social concerns such as climate change and poverty can be addressed. “The financial sector doesn’t have big, complex infrastructure that has to be torn down and built up again; they press a button and money goes in the direction they want. Once they’re brought into it, you can mobilize a lot of money quickly.”
The biggest hurdle is that, according to Rubinstein, “Products don’t reflect their true cost.” Social and environmental costs, such as damage to the environment, are not reflected in the prices of commodities such as fossil fuels. He insists that when such costs are taken into account, sustainable investing actually provides the best return out of all investing strategies.
“I want a society where people are honorable; they do what they say and say what they do. Unlike now, where the ones who are talking the most are doing the least, and the ones that are doing the most are talking the least.”
But Robert Rubinstein is a talker and a doer. The TBLI Conference Nordic 2017 proves that. He is prepared to continue this work for as long as it takes to see real, structural change.
“Impact investing is akin to farming. The financial sector are hunters. They are incentivized for short-term behavior. It’s difficult teaching farming to hunters. It takes time. But that’s what we’ve been doing with TBLI.”