On June 17, 2011, onValues hosted an investor roundtable on the topic of: "Agri-investing for the long term: the investment case for responsible investments in agriculture". The meeting, which took place in Geneva, was co-hosted by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the UN PRI and the UN Global Compact.
Over 60 experts from asset owners, asset managers, investment research and the public sector took part in what was likely the first event of this type dedicated to questions of responsible investment in agriculture and commodities. The discussion focused on issues related to farmland investments, commodity derivatives and listed equities in the agricultural value chain.
"Responsible investment in agriculture is a necessity, not an option" argued one investor. While a healthy diversity of views was expressed during the day, participants clearly articulated a strong economic rationale for considering environmental and social factors in agricultural investments. In this critical sector, participants agreed, investors can take steps to act as a positive and stabilizing force in agricultural markets in view of contributing to global food security.
Download the meeting report
«Agri-investing for the long term»
onValues has authored a report for the Mistra foundation entitled 360-degrees for Mission: How leading European foundations use their investments to support their mission and the greater good. The report will allow foundations to learn more about sustainable and responsible investment (SRI) and impact investment, and to take practical steps to implementing these approaches in the management of their capital endowments.
The report highlights eight European foundations that use their investments to advance their mission and still generate strong financial returns. Detailed case studies on the Church of Sweden, Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, Dreilinden, Fondation du Luxembourg, Fondazione Cariplo, Fonds 1818, Friends Provident Foundation, and Mistra show both the challenges and the rewards of SRI and impact investing, and provide the reader with direct advice from the personal experience of foundation officers and trustees.
360-degrees for Mission comes at a time of renewed interest in how foundations invest their money. The report directs readers to the variety of resources that can help foundations establish investment practices that are financially sound and enhance the contribution to their mission.
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«360-degrees for Mission»
The past ten years have witnessed a significant growth in microfinance and other financial services targeting the needs of the world's poor. A group of leading investors has publicly endorsed the Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance (PIIF) committing to fair treatment and protection of the interests of the ultimate clients - low-income households and small and medium-enterprises. This is particularly important given that poorer clients are often disadvantaged by asymmetries in financial knowledge, power, and influence. The Principles were developed in collaboration with Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima, the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, with the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment and in consultation with Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and several key industry players. Ivo Knoepfel, onValues' Managing Director, was invited to become a member of the Steering Committee that will supervise the implementation of the Principles.
View the PIIF here:
«Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance»
Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen Schweiz and onValues today published the results of the regular survey of the Swiss sustainable investment market per end of December 2010, which includes sustainable assets managed in Switzerland through funds, mandates and structured products. A total of 21 managers reported their assets under management in a range of different sustainable investment styles.
Per end of 2010 the sustainable market reached a new high of 42 billion CHF, which corresponds to an increase of 23% compared to the same value per end of December 2009. On average, net inflow in sustainable funds amounted to approximately 3.6% in the course of 2010. In comparison, the average comparable Swiss fund experienced a net outflow of the same order of magnitude.
Retail/private banking investors have further expanded their majority position in the market (57% of the total market, compared to the 43% of institutional investors). Equity, with its share of 63%, remains the most important asset class having slightly increased its market share compared to last year.
Not much has changed in terms of the use of different sustainable investment approaches, but the use of active proxy voting has notably increased. 44% of respondents reported that they are planning introducing a proxy voting policy that includes sustainability issues for the entire assets managed by their institutions in the coming years.
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«Sustainable investments in Switzerland 2010»