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A unique learning and networking event series in financial hubs across Europe, Asia and North/South America for investors and financial professionals. Since 1999, we help mobilize private capital for sustainable investment.

Responsible Investment Banking

Thursday, 07 Jan 2016

Tags: eur2015 impact investment banking switzerland

Guest Blog Post by William Maize about the Workshop "Responsible Investment Banking" at TBLI CONFERENCE EUROPE 2015 in Zurich. The moderator, Karen Wendt: Editor at Responsible Investment Banking was joined on the panel by Britta Rendlen: Head of Sustainable Finance at WWF Switzerland, Olivier Jaeggi: Managing Partner ECOFACT AG, Rene Nicolodi: Head of Equities & Themes at Zurcher Kantonalbank, Pierin Menzli: Head of Sustainable Investment Research, Bank of J. Safra Sarasin, and Arthur Wood, Founding Partner at Total Impact Capital.
Views and opinions are that of the writer and are not the official views of TBLI CONFERENCE.

When you hear the words “Investment Banking”, does the word “Responsible” come to mind? I had never contemplated these themes to be complementary. Time to change my mind?

23173967312 f2daac2130 zKaren Wendt got the talk started with a question for Britta Rendlen of WWF Switzerland: If an alien were to study how humans made investments on earth, what would they say? Britta’s response cut to the point; “current economic growth utilizes resources at a rate of 1.5 earths. If growth continues at the same rate, resource consumption will reach a rate of 3 planets by 2030. Any intelligent alien life would say; “hey this is just not sustainable.”

Next to speak was Olivier Jaeggi, who rebutted our alien investor friends by suggesting that big banks are trying to address this resource-use issue and questioning if secondary banks, institutional and smaller asset managers are really doing enough. Most big banks now recognize the reputational risks associated with breaching an accord by the high commissioner of human rights suggesting that the provision of minimal human rights and other social requirements apply even with minority ownership.

Rene Nicolodi explained that Environmental, Social, Governance standards and guidelines (ESG) are not only followed for regulatory requirement, but because clients demand it. ESG metrics also provide greater insight about investment risk and opportunities compared with a traditional investment process. “It is simply the right way to look a business models and analyze companies for long-term sustainability.”


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Three ways to approach investing in sustainable agriculture

Tuesday, 05 Jan 2016

Tags: eur2015 impact agriculture esg

Guest Blog Post by Magnus Berg Johansen about Workshop C2 at TBLI CONFERENCE EUROPE 2015 on investing in sustainable agriculture. The panelists included Tanja Havemann: Director & Founder Clarmondial GmbH, Peter van der Werf: Engagement Specialist at Robeco Institutional Asset Management, Arnold Lau: Senior Vice President at Iroquois Valley Farms LLC, and Martin Poulsen: Partner at The Moringa Partnership.
Views and opinions are that of the writer and are not the official views of TBLI CONFERENCE.

What is the best way of investing in sustainable agriculture? Is it possible to merge profits and organic farming? Can one by adding certain components to the business model increase output? These were some of the questions that were raised during the session that tried to TBLI EUR15 Workshop C2 1showcase how one could approach sustainable agriculture.

The session started off with Tanja Havement stressing the importance of agriculture when it comes to the CO2-challenge, employment in emerging markets and for gender equality.

Arnold Lau from Iroquois, a fund focused on incentivizing mid-size farmers in the US to grow organically,  then took the floor as the first presenter. He started of stressing the fact that only 1 prosent of the farming done in the US currently is done organically.

The market is very much a nice, but the demand is growing strongly due to consumer  interest. As the cost is higher, the market share remains low and this thus hold back any economics of scale.

Lau said that many find organic farming a fad and that it is too risky. But at the same time he is excited with the fact that the management of 70 percent of US farms will shift generations during the next 10 years.

What is more, one of the main hurdles to rapid expansion in this area is because organic farming does not pay off immidiately but when done continuously for many years it is the most productive approach – mainly because the land becomes richer year after year. Eg. the moisture is better remined in the ground.


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