Welcome & House Keeping
Managing Director – Asset Owner Solutions
I will take a few moments to welcome everyone to the event, set out the plan for the day, and deal with any pertinent housekeeping issues.
ESGvolution - Where Are We Now?
Sarah will summarise asset owners’ evolving approach to responsible ownership over the past 20 years to set the scene for the day. She’ll cover where we started, the changes to approach effected by asset owners along the way, and the current ‘ESG position’ post the Department for Work & Pensions and Shareholders Rights Directive II legislative changes.
The Process of Belief
Responsible Investment Redington
Honor will explain how asset owners and Trustees can best identify and express their ESG beliefs. She’ll set out some logical and practical steps that can be taken by asset owners to get to the point of having identified, expressed and implemented their ESG factor position in their SIPs, and how their investment consultant should be able to assist in this process.
Regulating for Climate Risk
The Pensions Regulator
Whilst the science behind climate change is generally accepted, TPR research shows that trustees are only just beginning to consider the risks that climate change presents to pension schemes. In this session, Melanie will cover the requirements of new investment regulations, what trustees will need to do to comply, and what TPR’s expectations are in this area.
ESG – Coming Home to Roost
Head of Responsible Investment
Diandra will share some practical details and insights from the multi-year journey that NEST have undertaken in exploring a range of potential ESG investment factors, identifying those which are of most importance to them, and how they have subsequently been integrated into their investment management and monitoring process.
ESG, Impacts, SDGs - Inclusion or Divestment?
A number of different approaches can be taken when considering how to incorporate or address ESG factors by institutional investors. Some practitioners have taken the literal approach of considering key ESG factors; some have chosen to focus on the end social benefit of making an investment, and some have chosen to divest themselves of troublesome investments. In this session, Tomàs will consider these different approaches and share his views and opinions on their appropriateness.
Sustainable to the Core
Niall’s session will cover how asset owners might address the practical aspects of formally integrating ESG factors into the investment process. Niall will also explore the process of formally assessing asset & investment opportunities in an ESG context, and how ESG factors should/could be identified & measured.
ESG Factors & Emerging Markets
Emerging Markets ESG
Most of the focus from asset owners has been on the consideration of ESG factors in developed markets. But what’s happening in Emerging & Frontier Markets? In theory, given their very nature, there’s an opportunity to make greater strides in taking on board ESG considerations. But is that the case? Geoffrey will address this question, sharing his experience of analyzing and engaging with investors in some of the more dynamic investment markets.
Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? (Who Guards the Guards?)
In this session, Sarah will return to discuss how asset owners might manage the deluge of ESG-related information coming/soon to come their way from their investment managers in the post-DWP and SRDII regulatory world. Once they’ve taken the time and effort to explore, identify and codify their ESG factor beliefs, Trustees will want to consider how to make sure their appointed agents are taking their requirements in to consideration when investing on their behalf.
Index Composition & ESG Factors
Head of Research & Business
Timo will address the incorporation of ESG factors/criteria in the creation of bespoke indices and benchmarks used by asset owners to gauge performance or identify specific ESG opportunity sets. Since there is no one agreed set of ESG factors, Timo will explore the pros and cons of bespoke index/benchmark creation versus existing ESG indices.
Seeing Through The Greenwash
Given the increasing requirement from investors for their asset managers to take ESG factors into account when managing their investments, it’s perhaps unsurprising that there is an ongoing information war with regards ESG credentials – whether they are real, or imaginary. In our final session of the day, Julia will share her views on what constitutes false ESG credentials (also known as ‘Greenwash’), what can be considered positive ‘valid diversity’ in investment practices, and how investors can tell the difference.