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»
Over the past five years, the gold price has risen by almost 20% annually. Investors account for 40% of total gold demand and have been integral in driving gold prices to their current levels. In an article in the September 2012 issue of Investments & Pensions Europe, onValues Managing Director Ivo Knoepfel calls on investors to understand the role they play and the responsibility they bear in supporting the extraction of the precious metal. "Their perception is that they are a negligible player in gold and unlike the jewellery sector, industries and central banks do not carry any major responsibility," says Knoepfel. With contributions from the World Gold Council, pension funds and asset managers, the article discusses the environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in gold production and introduces actions that investors can take to ensure an environmentally-friendly, conflict-free, socially sustainable supply of gold.
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«Extracting the true cost of gold - I&PE September 2012»
The annual reference document of the Swiss foundation sector (Schweizer Stiftungsreport) this year includes a guest article by onValues MD Ivo Knoepfel on ways in which foundations can better align their investments to their mission. The article discusses the spectrum of options available to foundations ranging from program related investments to venture philanthropy, impact investments, and sustainable and responsible investments. It recognises the challenges that implementing such investments can pose to smaller foundations with limited resources and proposes more collaboration between foundations to overcome this, e.g. in the context of a newly formed working group of the SwissFoundations association.
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«Swiss Foundations Report 2012» (available in German and French only)
onValues and Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen Schweiz today published the results of the regular survey of the Swiss sustainable investment market per end of December 2011, which includes sustainable assets managed in Switzerland through funds, mandates and structured products. A total of 20 managers reported their assets under management in a range of different sustainable investment styles.
According to the survey, sustainable investment volumes in Switzerland remained steady at around 42 billion Swiss francs in 2011 despite the difficult market environment. In 2011, lower investment volumes in funds and structured products were offset by growth in mandates. Institutional investors strengthened their position at the expense of private investors, leaving each group with a fifty per cent share of the market. Bonds saw their market share rise by ten percentage points to 31 per cent in 2011, while equities' share of the market fell by the same amount and now stands at 53 per cent.
Looking at market trends, Ivo Knoepfel, the managing director of onValues and co-author of the study, points to the growing significance of ESG integration and active shareholder approaches: "Investments where shareholder voting rights are being exercised with consideration of ESG issues have once again grown sharply and have now reached the impressive level of 11.4 billion francs." He goes on to say, "Providers have begun integrating sustainability aspects into their financial analyses directly, so 9.1 billion Swiss francs are now invested in line with this approach. This development could be the key to a wider use of sustainable investments by occupational pension schemes in Switzerland."
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«Sustainable Investments in Switzerland 2011»
Weitere Beiträge ...
- Mistra Foundation releases summary of 2011 review of asset managers
- Swiss pension fund uses onValues advice for one of the largest investments in microfinance
- onValues supports PRI and the UN Global Compact in improving company-investor communications on sustainability
- Ivo Knoepfel wins ESG Award
- Cleantech, microfinance, commodities, Swiss pension funds, the future of RI: onValues speaking engagements
- The Responsible Investor’s Guide to Commodities
- Principles for Responsible Investment in Farmland
- European foundations meet on mainstreaming mission-aligned investing
- Agri-investing for the long term
- ’360-degrees for Mission’ showcases SRI and impact investment at foundations
- Ivo Knoepfel joins Steering Committee of the Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance
- Sustainable investments in Switzerland reach all-time high according to onValues survey
- Responsible investment in commodities
- SRI and impact investments at European foundations
- Improving the effectiveness of shareholder engagement – A Mistra workshop
- onValues facilitates investor meetings on shareholder engagement, climate change risks and opportunities, commodities investments
- Multi-year project on commodities investments launched
- Sustainable investments in Switzerland rebound strongly in 2009, reaching a new all-time high
- Leading Swiss business newspaper highlights potential conflicts of interest of certain investment consulting practices
- Eurosif study assesses role of consultants in the responsible investment field
- Fundamental shift in ESG
- Report on European pension funds’ investments in microfinance released
- Building better long-term investment relationships – a Mistra workshop
- Report assesses financial crisis impacts on the investment industry's consideration of ESG and climate-related issues
- Mistra publishes a summary of its 2008 review of external asset managers
- Sustainable investments in Switzerland contract in 2008, but show more resilience than the whole market
- Future proof? Recommendations to improve the inclusion of ESG issues in investment markets presented at the WEF Annual Meeting
- The Enhanced Analytics Initiative (EAI) publishes its four-year review and announces a new ESG research platform managed by the PRI
- onValues co-authors ‹Sustainable Investing: The Art of Long Term Performance›
- onValues participates in the launch of the first global academic network on ESG-inclusive investments
- onValues brings together real estate investors and academics to discuss environmental and social issues
- The UN PRI Initiative releases new assessment of ESG integration
- onValues releases detailed analysis of the Swiss sustainable investment market
- onValues takes a closer look at SRI growth statistics
- Investing in timberland
- Global Pensions Magazine publishes onValues research into sustainable real estate
- onValues contributes an analysis of climate change related investment research to the 10th Euro Finance Week in Frankfurt
- A workshop with Scandinavian and international investors confirms the relevance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues for emerging markets investments
- The Swiss market for ESG-inclusive investments doubles between June 2006 and June 2007
- New frontiers in emerging markets investments
- onValues profiles investment research on mergers and acquisitions (M&A)
- The Swiss market for ESG-inclusive investments reaches 17.9 billion CHF according to a survey by onValues
- onValues publishes an overview appraisal of the current state of ESG-inclusive investments
- Enhanced Analytics Initiative celebrates second anniversary in light of a strong increase in membership
- German researchers assess carbon and climate change risks for the financial industry
- onValues works with the private banking industry on expanding the scope of ESG-inclusive investment
- Communicating ESG value drivers at the company-investor interface
- Article on active ownership initiatives by investors
- Mistra and onValues advance the boundaries of ESG-inclusive investment in the fixed income domain