Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) aims to promote Switzerland as the leading centre for sustainable finance. More than 60 organisations – financial service providers, investors, research organisations, public sector entities and others – have joined forces to foster social and environmental aspects in investment and financing solutions. onValues has for many years supported this vision and participated in the working group that has prepared the launch of SSF.
Today, sustainable assets of CHF 57 billion are managed in Switzerland, a significant proportion of which is for international clients. Switzerland is also a hub for innovative impact investing strategies. A third of global microfinance investments, for example, are managed by Swiss players.
More information at www.sustainablefinance.ch
onValues has teamed up with other leading independent investment consultancies to launch Advisornet. Members of this network share similar values, i.e. professionality, integrity and independency in their work for asset owners (HNWI/family offices, foundations, pension funds etc.). One of the goals of Advisornet is to support research and foster a public dialogue on the role of and criteria for independent financial consulting.
Members of Advisornet currently include InvestorsDialogue (financial planning), Wüthrich&Henz (investment consulting), FourA (asset allocation), INREIM (real estate investing), onValues (investment consulting). The network is expected to grow to a level of about a dozen firms in the course of the next year.
In a case-study published by the Alliance Magazine, Katy Yung from RS Group and Ivo Knoepfel from onValues describe their work in helping RS Group incorporate climate change considerations in its entire investment portfolio. onValues has been supporting RS Group for years in further developing its sustainable investment strategy and moving its assets from traditional to ESG-inclusive strategies. The case-study shows how climate change risk and opportunity considerations have been integrated in different asset classes ranging from fixed income, to listed equity, private equity and alternative investments.
RS Group’s strategy rests on three pillars: Support (invest in climate change solutions); Avoid (divest from fossil fuel-intense industries); Engage (engage with investment holdings and share experiences with the broader community).
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«Alliance Magazine - Stewarding wealth»
Read about our impressions from participating in the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) conference (10-11 Oct. 2013 in London) in the 'Latest from Alliance' Newsletter.
In a recently published article by Investment & Pensions Europe, Ivo Knoepfel shares onValues' assessment of investment opportunities in the growing impact investment market. Based on its research, onValues estimates that there is USD 70-90bn invested via impact strategies globally, of which about $15bn is microfinance and other themes in developing countries. Community and social investments in developed countries, mainly in the US, make up almost half of the total. A further $20-30bn is accounted for by parts of cleantech, infrastructure and other real assets that are classified as impact investments. Through its proprietary research and databases, onValues helps clients assess the many managers active in the space. The article also includes interesting insights from leading organisations such as GIIN, Bridges Ventures and Social Finance.
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«IPE Article - Beyond microfinance»
onValues contributed to the recently released white paper "Path to the Sustainable Financial Centre Switzerland" that contains a range of recommendations aimed at strengthening Switzerland's position as a leading global hub for sustainable finance. The paper was co-sponsored by Sustainable Finance Geneva (SFG) and The Sustainability Forum Zürich (TSF) and is based on extensive research and dialogue with over 50 key stakeholders. Among other inputs, onValues contributed a detailed benchmarking study comparing the relative strength of financial marketplaces such as London, New York, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Singapore and Zurich in the broad sustainable finance space.
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«Path to the Sustainable Financial Centre Switzerland»
Peter Zollinger, member of the onValues advisory board and a partner at Globalance Bank, recently co-authored "The Ecological Debt Trap: Why Understanding Global Resource Constraints Helps Protect Families' Wealth" in Family Office Global magazine. In the article, Zollinger and David Hertig cite the fact that humanity currently uses 50% more resources than our planet can provide. They argue that understanding this growing "resource gap" will be key to preserving wealth over the coming 15, 20 or 30 years.
The authors describe how resource scarcity affects all asset classes. Given current market demands for uncorrelated real returns and cash generation, plus the accelerating political and technological reaction to resource scarcity, Zollinger and Hertig conclude that "sustainable real assets marry both aspects and are poised to deliver great results to long-term investors." They offer two showcase investment examples: waste-to-energy biogas in Western Europe and sustainable agriculture in Australia, each with projected 15% real returns per annum and cash flow generation starting in 2-3 years.
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«The Ecological Debt Trap»
A new report by onValues provides an overview of the organizations and associations active in sustainable finance in Switzerland. The report, entitled "Mapping Sustainable Finance in Switzerland", builds on previous work by onValues benchmarking international financial centres on sustainability. It presents descriptive statistics on 220 individual actors in all segments of the financial sector, including asset management, banking, research, pensions, insurance, academia, government and the voluntary sector. The report also lists 26 associations and platforms that coordinate activities among sustainable finance actors in Switzerland.
This research confirms that Switzerland enjoys a strong ecosystem of sustainable finance organizations with a high degree of interconnection. onValues hopes that this preliminary mapping exercise will be a first step toward enhanced coordination and will support the strategic positioning of sustainability within the broader Swiss financial sector.
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«Mapping Sustainable Finance in Switzerland»
For the second year running, European foundations and foundation association representatives gathered to share their experience on "mission investing", an umbrella term that refers to the conscious consideration of mission in endowment investment decisions. The meeting was organised by onValues and co-hosted by the Mistra Foundation, EFC and SwissFoundations. Nearly 30 participants from nine European countries met in Zurich to share experiences, discuss challenges and look for practical actions to advance mission investing in the foundation sector.
The meeting report, "Putting mission investing to work", highlights a range of recommended actions for foundations, foundation associations and foundation advisors aimed at accelerating the uptake of mission investing in Europe. It summarises meeting insights on critical topics ranging from the strategic framing of mission investing as part of a foundation's post-financial crisis strategy, to advice on sourcing and implementing impact investments directly linked to a foundation's goals. The report also includes a section drawn from research on the rapidly evolving European landscape of mission investing and a section on current thinking on fiduciary duty in relation to foundation mission investment.
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«Putting mission investing to work»