Sunday, 09 June 2019 15:43

TEN-TBLI Expert Network


TBLI Group Holdings B.V. is pleased to formally announce the creation of The TBLI Expert Network (TEN). Professionals from across the globe, TEN experts in academics, finance, operations and scientific disciplines engage our clients on a broad range of corporate issues and create tailor made solutions for their investment needs.

TEN is a global network of leading experts an experienced professionals dedicated to Sustainability empowering scalability in this sector. With nearly 500 experts in over 60 disciplines related to Values based investing, TEN offers a diagnostic and solutions based approach for corporate opportunities and challenges alike.

Published in News
Tuesday, 07 August 2018 06:59

TBLI Events 2018-2019

TBLI is the worlds leading authority on ESG and Impact Investing and has been curating content for TBLi Conference, for over 20 years. Now TBLI will be expanding ESG and Impact outreach to Family Office Events. Meet Family Offices and other Asset Owners.

Here are the dates for upcoming TBLI Impact Events. Free Attendance for all Asset Owners of  Conferences:

logo TBLI conference 1

TBLI CONFERENCE™ EUROPE | June 12-13, 2019 Volkshaus Zurich, Switzerland. Reduced Fee Attendance for all Asset Owners.

TBLI CONFERENCE™ Asia | Nov. 7-8, 2019 SMU, Singapore. INVITATION ONLY

WM Nexus TBLI logo

April 9-Zurich - 1/2 day Investor Salon-Theme: Equity/Fized Income/Hedge Funds

May 16-London - 1/2 day Investor Salon-Theme: PE/RE

June 12-13-Zurich - Investor Salon @ TBLI CONFERENCE EUROPE - Theme: Investor Salon

Sept. 24-London - Investor Lunch - Theme: Impact

October 17: Dubai - 1/2 day Investor Salon-Theme: Investor Salon

November 7-8:Singapore - Investor Salon @ TBLI CONFERENCE ASIA - Theme: Investor Salon



TBLI Inspiration Weekend Scotland | Glen House Castle, near Edinburgh March 22-25, 2019, and Sept. 20-23, 2019

TBLI Inspiration Weekend Italy | Villa Cagnola, near Milan, May 17-20, 2018 


TBLI VIP Dinner- TBLI is organising a private Impact Investing dinner Oct. 2 Amsterdam

Planned Family Office Events with Prestel & Partners:

Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you want to discuss participation or sponsorship at any of our events.

Published in Actuals
Friday, 01 December 2017 11:40

Impact Investing Platorms

Update on nearly all the Impact Investing Platforms.

Published in Actuals



Major new alliance of religious investment funds creating a better and fairer world

November 2, 2017:
Launch of the Zug Guidelines to Faith-consistent Investing. Photo ARC: Mike Shackleton

ZUG, SWITZERLAND: November 2, 2017: A global movement aimed at shifting billions of dollars of faith-based investments into initiatives supporting sustainable development and the environment has been launched following a unique three-day meeting of faith leaders and financial investors in Zug, Switzerland. 

By unanimous agreement among participants at the Zug Faith in Finance meeting, an alliance will be created to spearhead this movement and develop faith-consistent investment goals. Participants included more than 30 different faith traditions from eight religions, representing over 500 faith investment groups and trillions of dollars in assets, as well as senior United Nations figures and leading impact investment funds. 

“It will enable faith groups to share information, experience, knowledge, research and resources to ensure they put their investments and assets into initiatives to help create a better world for all. This initiative is backed by the UN and by many traditions within the religions,” said Martin Palmer, Secretary General of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), which organised the meeting. 

“The new alliance – so new it hasn’t even got a name yet – will develop a faith response to the challenge of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” he said. 

The alliance marks a huge shift from the tradition of religion saying, for ethical reasons, what they won’t invest in (for example, tobacco, weapons, pornography, fossil fuels) to a proactive policy of ensuring faith assets and investments will have a positive “faith-consistent” impact – making money work for good, while still bringing in the returns that faiths need to fund their activities. 

The Faith in Finance meeting launched the Zug Guidelines to Faith-Consistent Investing with a dramatic procession through the medieval city of Zug, and in partnership with the Swiss Impact Investment Association. 

This, the first collection of guidelines by eight major faiths, gives an unprecedented overview of where religious investment is placed now. It highlights what principles each tradition calls upon when it decides its investment priorities, and in many cases makes a statement that a good proportion of the money should where possible be invested in environmental and sustainable development. 

Palmer said: “The long-term impact will be to empower faith groups – and the billions of people who make up their congregations – to decide how to use their investments, their pension funds and their assets to create a better world, one that as Cardinal Turkson says, responds to two cries, the cry of the poor and the cry of creation.” 

Cardinal Peter Turkson , who was recently asked by the Pope to head up a powerful new agency in the Vatican with the task of “promoting integral human development”, flew from Rome to attend the meeting. 

He said that when in 1993 he was appointed Archbishop of Cape Coast in Ghana he looked at how many of the churches were funded – by donations and grants, which were not only decreasing, as missionary organisations decreased, but which was also a very unequal model. 

He realised then there had to be a new form of access to capital for churches to support their own activities, and he set about campaigning and acting to bring this about. 

“I brought that experience in Ghana then to what I do in the Vatican now,” he said. “And I believe very much in education of people in how to invest money, and in how to make informed choices so what you invest in is something good.” 

There are many trillions of dollars of investment funds owned by the faiths around the world. In 2016 a Georgetown University study suggested that the value of religious goods and services in the US was around 1.2 trillion and that the household incomes of religiously affiliated Americans was around $4.8 trillion. The global figure will be many times greater. 

“We have known for some time what the faiths were against in their investments,” Palmer said. “But now we – and they – have a much better idea of what they are for.” 

The new alliance has been welcomed by the United Nations. Opening the Faith in Finance meeting, Elliott Harris, UN Assistant Secretary-General, UN Environment Programme, said: “The governments have made a public political commitment to the sustainable development goals and we now have to hold them accountable to that. But we realize that this agenda is far too complicated to leave up to the governments. They cannot do it alone. 

“Your Zug Guidelines to Faith-Consistent Investing set out what the faith-based organisations are for, as contrasted with what they are against, how your values translate into value-based investment decisions. I encourage you all to work with us and we with you to make this sustainable agenda a reality. That, I think will be one of the great achievements of this generation.” 

No sooner were the guidelines launched on October 31 than several key faith groups from Europe and Asia requested that they join the movement and create their own investment guidelines.


More background, presentations and talks as well as the pdf version of the Zug Guidelines are available from the Zug event page

Link to photographs from the event


Much of the good works (schools, hospitals, care centres, poverty alleviation programmes etc) of any religion is funded by the faith’s investment programme. 

There has always been a level of negative screening – many religions are clear what they will not invest in, which sometimes includes alcohol, weapons, tobacco, and more recently fossil fuels: faiths won’t invest in “bad” industries. Every year for the past 20 years this movement has been gaining momentum, and religious organisations have also used their role as shareholders to push for and publicise change. 

But now, many religious investment departments are taking a further path. Instead of just saying what they are against, dozens of faith finance groups are now saying what they WILL invest in, in order to make the world a better place and align their money with their values. 

The meeting was held in collaboration with the Swiss Impact Investment Association (SIIA) annual summit. SIIA have already asked to join the alliance and offered to host an annual faith in finance programme at their summit. 

It took place at the beautiful Lasalle Haus Jesuit Centre in the hills outside Zug, eastern Switzerland. 

Notes to editor: ARC is a secular body founded in 1995 by HRH Prince Philip that helps the major religions of the world to develop their own environmental programmes, based on their own core teachings, beliefs and practices. It is the main partner for the UN in working with the faiths on the SDGs. 

It is sponsored by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Pilkington Foundation and WWF-UK as well as Earth Capital Partners, Hermes Investment Management, Linius Capital, Rathbone Greenbank Investments, Resilience Brokers, Sarasin & Partners, Tribe Impact Capital, Triodos Investment Management, WHEB. 

Published in Actuals

Guest Blog Post by Sarah Stephen , University of Lausanne 

"Finance, despite its flaws and excesses, is a force that potentially can help us create a better, more prosperous, and more equitable society".
Thus writes Nobel Economics Laureate Robert Shiller in his book "Finance and the Good Society", one which reiterates his call for utilising the tools of finance for the greater good of society. I consider responsible investing to be one such tool. This has been employed in various guises, most notably over the past four decades, to construct a better world by incorporating environmental, social, and governance criteria in investment portfolio selection and management. Many are the investors practicing this philosophy and many the financial services firms offering such products. In fact, the Global Sustainable Investment Association claims this as amounting to USD $21.4 trillion at the start of 2014. This prominence being catalysed by advances in information technology, globalisation, and the increasing role of civil society, newcomers in this field have their task cut out. Yet, it was not so for the front-runners who confronted a field where the dominant worldview was Friedmanesque insisting that "There is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud."

The perils of trailblazing
Triodos Bank, the Dutch ethical bank, was one such notable trailblazer which, when launched in 1980, experienced the perils of swimming against the tide. "Investors were not ready", observed Hadewych Kuiper, of Triodos Investment Management. Even a fast forwarding to 2012 in Switzerland does not efface such challenges: Credit Suisse faced such hurdles when placing such products as the topic was very new for a mainstream, global financial player. The same was encountered by J. Safra Sarasin Ltd, the Switzerland-based sustainable private bank, when launching their products over 2 decades ago. Far from a first mover advantage, the bank faced a first mover disadvantage. Pieren Menzli enumerates these as "awareness raising in the market place, education and training, fulfilling many different needs, e.g. reputational risk reduction, performance enhancements, engagement, at the same time in one investment strategy".
The trailblazers’ perseverance paid off to the extent that responsible investing (regardless of the veracity of the figures stated earlier) is a growing investment philosophy. Although most responsible investing strategies are considered as being mainstream, the newest strategy, i.e. impact investing, is facing many of the same challenges faced by the responsible investing movement in the 1970s-1990s.
The first challenge concerns investors. To begin with, there is, as conveyed by Credit Suisse’s Olivier Rousset, "a paradigm mismatch that needs to be matched". On one hand, the financial profit maximisation paradigm; on the other, the numerous values behind the investors' preference for responsible or impact investing. Secondly, as identified by Kuiper and Tenke Zoltani of UBS, there is a lack of seasoned investors. Potential investors are unaware of impact investing and all that this entails. Acknowledging that powerful investors (such as pension funds) are crucial, Dominique Habegger, of de Pury Pictet Turrettini & Cie, directed my attention to the pension fund participants at the TBLI conference in Rüschlikon. The fact that this set of investors was all but absent speaks volume. This possibly might be an outcome of an a priori perception that such products are risky and not sound investments, as voiced by Rousset, or incompatible with their investment philosophy. This absence, however, maybe a spurious correlation as Christian Etzensperger, of responsAbility, counters that institutional investors are the significant investor population in their funds (accounting for more than 50% of the $3 billion). Yet, adopting such alternative strategies requires changes in the pension funds, particularly by becoming less conservative, less bureaucratic, and less risk averse. Alternatively, instead of focussing on strong-arming such powerful investors, more receptive institutional investors could be approached, these being, according to Menzli, "families, foundations, UHNWI’s and to some extent PRI signatories among insurance and pension funds". Considering the lack of viable investors, Arthur Wood, of Total Impact Capital, pinpoints global foundations, one that he observes are essentially "asset management houses". Estimating around $3 trillion sitting in such foundations, around 99% of which is unaligned with social missions, there is a substantial potential in directing this capital and aligning this with social missions.
The second challenge, interestingly, lies closer to home for financial services firms. The first point of contact at a financial services firm holds sway in encouraging or dissuading potential investors. Personal experiences at a local bank evidenced how client advisors were either counselling against investing in dedicated responsible investment funds ("too risky", "underperforming") or were unaware of the existence of such products. Recognising this, UBS has been training client advisors on impact investing.
The third is both a challenge and an opportunity: the presence of competition. On one hand, this enables financial services firms, such as Credit Suisse, to offer products in conjunction with third parties, such as responsAbility. Etzensperger finds the competition to be friendly; not competing for investors, but for investment opportunities. Such arguments notwithstanding, Rousset admits that there is no option of sitting on laurels as the peers catch up. There is a pressure to innovate and to be distinct in a pool of competition, notes Habegger.
And, finally, Rousset's "paradigm mismatch" applies to the financial services firms offering such investment products. The recent financial crises and banking scandals has resulted in increasing scepticism about the motives of a financial services provider. In fact, according to the 2014 Harris Poll, nearly 45% considered the financial industry as having a negative reputation (the other two sectors with worse reputation being the government and tobacco industry). Given the scepticism of the populace, the products are rejected based on the provider's perceived lack of credibility.

Finance and Society
Shiller voices the truth when claiming that financial services, even with all flaws, are the stewards of wealth. The flaws in the sector have its own advantages as identified by Wood when he concludes that "the inefficiencies of the (financial) sector are, in some senses, the opportunity of the sector". The financial services have the required banking skills and, given the structural inefficiency of the sector, they can benefit from the substantive commercial opportunity and reduced reputational risks. On the other side of the coin, the involvement of the financial services will result in applying products, tools, and networks, thus benefitting the wider society and enhancing social performance.

Published in News
Tuesday, 24 May 2016 00:00

Interview Swedish Pubication

For our Swedish friends, here is interview with Robert Rubinstein in Aktuell Hållbarhet this month. Full article can be found here.



Published in In the news