1. Who has had the greatest impact on sustainable investment over the last twelve months?
- If I had to pick one entity and one initiative, I would select the FRC and the updated UK Stewardship Code launched towards the end of 2019. After widely consulting, the FRC produced a Stewardship Code which was a real step up from its predecessor and if implemented well by signatories should lead to a real increase in the effectiveness of stewardship and the recognition that stewardship has to be at the heart of what an investment firm stands for and how it operates. More concerning is that there are a number of policy statements which seem to be favouring investment in what is already sustainable rather than the effectiveness of stewardship to improve the sustainability performance across all investments. It is critical that the investment industry embrace of sustainable investment leads to positive change and not take a box-ticking approach.
2. Where have you seen the biggest change in your day-to-day role over the past three months?
- Meeting colleagues, clients and prospects and speaking at conferences from home rather than from the office or outside locations. Otherwise the content of my work has been very much business as usual including the recruitment of new colleagues in the US.
3. How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your thinking around sustainable investment?
- It has reinforced the sustainable investment priorities we already had. These include climate change, strengthening governance and addressing inequality in all its forms through a focus on social issues such as inclusion, human rights, labour rights, corruption etc. and considering the implications of technology and indeed climate change disruption.
4. What would you like to see change within the sustainable investment landscape over the coming years?
- A move from a preponderance of green and rainbow washing to benefit commercially to real change on the ground which benefits the long term interests of investors by creating sustainable wealth through effective stewardship.
5. What are you most looking forward to at Edie’s Sustainable Investment Digital Conference?
- Learning and more importantly, developing partnerships that can make a real difference for investors and society as a whole.