News

ASSET OWNERS: IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE AN IMPACT IN PUBLIC EQUITY MARKETS?

Meaghan Kilroy at Pensions & Investments reported last week from the Big Path Capital's Impact Capitalism Summit in the US. The panelist argued that one of the challenges of adding public investments to an impact portfolio is the difficulty of measuring the generated social or...

AXA ENDING INSURANCE TO COAL-INTENSIVE BUSINESSES

Axa, one of the biggest European insurers recently announced they are ending insurance support to coal-intensive businesses, i.e. those with more than half of their turnover coming from mining or coal burning operations, Megan Darby at Climate Home reports. The move will align Axa Insurance with...

FINANCE MATTERS AT THE NET IMPACT CONFERENCE 2017

Last week, London Business School hosted the Net Impact Conference 2017: Return on Impact. Interest in environmentally and socially responsible investment has grown by 33% since 2014 - today constituting almost $9 trillion in actively managed assets globally according to some measures. Increasingly, investors are asking: how...

TRIODES BANK LAUNCHES PERSONAL CURRENT ACCOUNT IN THE UK

Triodos, a leading sustainable bank in Europe opened registrations for its first ever UK personal current account this week. The account, described as the most sustainable current account ever brought to the UK market, will begin with a phased rollout this summer. Triodos has been operating...

DEVELOPING COUNTRIES CALL UN GREEN CLIMATE FUND ‘A LAUGHING STOCK’

Tensions between rich and poor countries were running high at a recent meeting of the Green Climate Fund board, the UN's flagship climate finance initiative Megan Darby at Climate Home reports. Projects worth a total of $755m were approved by the Fund's board, including $265m for renewable...

EY SURVEY: INVESTORS VALUE CORPORATE ESG REPORTING

Following the Bloomberg/Carney task force recommendations that companies should include climate data in their mainstream financial reporting, an EY survey reveals that the majority of investors value ESG and non-financial reporting by investee companies. The survey – Is your non-financial performance revealing the true value of...

INVESTMENT IN A NEW CLIMATE

Financial Times features an article this week by Dan McCrum on investment in the climate change era, which looks at the ways investors take climate into account when deciding what to buy and sell. Jeremy Grantham, co-founder and chief investment strategist at the asset manager GMO argues...

EUROPEAN UTILITIES ON PATH TO BLOW THROUGH ‘CARBON BUDGET’

A new report released today by CDP, a provider of corporate climate data, analysing an over €250 billion market cap grouping of European utilities reveals that the industry is locked into high emissions from long-lived fossil fuel power plants until 2050. Further, at a carbon price...

FINANCE MATTERS INTERVIEWS PRAVEEN JOSEPH, EBRD

Bio Name:  Praveen Joseph Based: London, UK Position:  Principal Trader & Portfolio Manager - High grade fixed income, EBRD By: Maayan Keren Zur Praveen, please tell us a bit about your background. I grew up in India and pursued my bachelor’s in engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Madras....

IMPACT INVESTMENT IN THE TRUMP ERA

John Waggoner at Investment News writes about the outlook for the impact investment sector under a Trump presidency. According to Waggoner, the best case scenario is that the momentum behind the sector continues and that impact investment will eventually form a part of all investment...

FINANCE MATTERS INTERVIEW LIZZIE CADBURY, KPMG

Bio Name: Lizzie Cadbury Base: London, UK Position: Forensic (Investigations and Compliance), KPMG Tenure: 11 years Global issue you care most about: Vulnerable children  Lizzie, a Chartered Accountant, is a Manager in KPMG’s Forensic team. She talked to us about a secondment completed in Southern Africa, where she used her financial...

LAUNCH OF THE FIRST GREEN BOND ETF

The world's first green bond index-linked exchange-traded fund (ETF) launched on the Euronext Paris last week, Hamza Ali at Environmental Finance reports. Launched by the ETF provider Luxor Asset Management, it is the first ETF to be based on labelled green bonds. Francois Millet, Head of...

BIG SOCIETY CAPITAL REPORT: PENSIONS WITH PURPOSE

Big Society Capital (BSC) recently commissioned polling with ComRes to better understand the views and needs of employees with DC pensions in the UK. BSC argues that the while the DC pensions revolution has been a great success, there is danger that we will fail...

CLIMATE INVESTMENTS MAKE THE WORLD SAFER – EU’S MOGHERINI TO MATTIS

Megan Darby at Climate Home writes this week about EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini's response to the US call for increased defence spending by NATO members. Defence chief James Mattis and VP Mike Pence were at the Munich Security Conference where Mogherini offered to...

CLIMATE BIGGEST ESG RISK FACING UK PENSION FUNDS – REPORT

A new report finds that the risks arising from climate change impact more industries than any other environmental, social and governance (ESG) issue in a typical UK pension scheme's defined-contribution (DC) default fund portfolio. The report, commissioned by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) and...

FINANCE MATTERS INTERVIEW: MICHAEL HARRIS, MANAGER PWC & BEYONDME CO-FOUNDER

Bio Name: Michael Harris Base: London, UK Position: Manager, PwC and co-founder of BeyondMe Tenure: 6 years Global issue you care most about: Mental health Michael Harris is a chartered accountant with PwC and the co-founder of BeyondMe, an organisation which pairs professionals wanting to volunteer their time and skills with charity...

THE FUTURE OF CORPORATE CLIMATE REPORTING

Climate change and the business risks it poses are becoming a key corporate sustainability reporting trend, according to a report from the Global Reporting Initiative and advisory firm SustainAbility, Jessica Lyons Hardcastle at Environmental Leader reports this week. The report, which consolidates insights from the GRI...

FINANCE MATTERS INTERVIEW WITH DAVE TROW, ASSISTANT MANAGER KPMG

Dave Trow, Assistant Manager at KPMG, entered and won one of the firm’s corporate responsibility competitions, ‘BRIGHT’. The programme is focused on developing new ideas specifically targeted at addressing the UN millennium development goals. He active in KPMG's volunteering programmes and at the same time...

LAWMAKERS IN IRELAND VOTE TO DIVEST FROM FOSSIL FUELS

Ireland could become the first country in the world to entirely divest its sovereign wealth fund from coal, oil and gas, Climate Home reports. Lawmakers were overwhelmingly split in favour of the €8 billion Ireland Strategic Investment Fund to exit holdings in coal, oil and gas...

FINANCE MATTERS INTERVIEW WITH ILAN GANOT, FOUNDER & CEO AT SOLID BIOSCIENCES

Bio Name: Ilan Ganot Base: Cambridge, Massachusetts Position: Founder and CEO, Solid Biosciences Tenure: 3 years Global issue you care most about: Muscular dystrophy Ilan left his life a hedge fund banker at JPMorgan in London to create a new business aimed at developing drugs for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. His son's...

COMPLETE TRANSITION TO CARBON & SOLAR POSSIBLE WITHIN A GENERATION

Besides the heartwarming scenes from Women's Marches around the globe yesterday, there are other reasons to feel hopeful about the state of the planet: Chris Goodall argues in the Guardian Sustainable Business that we now have the technology to make a complete transition from carbon to...

GLOBAL BANKS MAKING SLOW PROGRESS ON CLIMATE RISKS

A report released today by Boston Common Asset Management looks at how 28 of the world's largest banks are managing climate-related risks. It finds that while many banks are now conducting carbon footprinting and environmental stress-tests, they largely fail to use their own climate data...

FINANCE MATTERS INTERVIEW WITH JP MORGAN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, RONALD CHOI

Bio Name: Ronald Choi Base: Tokyo, Japan Position: Executive Director, JPMorgan Tenure: 7 years Global issue you care most about: Disaster relief   Ronald has been donating both his time and project-execution skills to multiple JPM-sponsored schemes for rebuilding infrastructure and facilities in Japan for communities that were impacted by the Fukushima...

BUSINESSES & INVESTORS CALL ON TRUMP: DON’T IGNORE CLIMATE CHANGE

More than 600 leading businesses and financial institutions have signed an open letter to urge president-elect Donald Trump to take action on climate change. The release of the letter coincides with the start of the Senate hearings to confirm his cabinet nominees, many of whom...

COAL-FIRED POWER GENERATION FALLS TO RECORD LOW IN THE UK

Let's start the new year with some good news: The UK generated more electricity from wind than from coal power plants for the first time in 2016, according to energy analysts. Electricity generated from coal accounted for 9.2 per cent of the total energy market last...

GENDER GAP CLOSES FOR MILLENNIALS, TO OPEN BACK UP IN THEIR 30s

A new report from the Resolution Foundation finds that the gender pay gap for millennials in their 20s has shrunk to just 5 per cent, according to Blue & Green Tomorrow. However, any progress is threatened by signs which indicate that as women reach their...

BLOOMBERG TASK FORCE URGES COMPANIES TO DISCLOSE CLIMATE RISKS

On Wednesday, the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) published its recommendations, urging companies to disclose the financial effects of climate change. Headed by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and Bank of England governor Mark Carney, the task force was set up...

FTSE4GOOD 15TH ANNIVERSARY

FTSE Russell celebrates the 15th anniversary this week of its flagship ESG Index Series, the FTSE4Good. Launched in 2001, the index series aims to provide investors with a transparent and objective benchmark related to social and environmental sustainability. The index includes companies that are regularly...

FINANCE MATTERS AT THE GIIN INVESTOR FORUM 2016

Finance Matters attended the GIIN Investor Forum in Amsterdam this week. The forum brought together over 800 participants from 45 countries and 6 continents from various areas across impact investment: asset managers and owners, social enterprises, civil society and academia - to discuss the most...

FOUR DANISH PENSION FUNDS CONFIRM PLANS TO REJOIN PRI

In 2013, 11 Danish pension funds pulled out of the Principles for Responsible Investment, citing concerns over its governance.  Four of the pension funds have now confirmed that they will be rejoining the PRI, saying that the organisation has "listened to the criticism that lead to...

EU WARNS MEMBERS ON ‘BACKDOOR’ COAL SUBSIDIES

Some good climate news in the December darkness: The European Commission is warning member states that 'secret' subsidies for fossil fuels will not be tolerated under EU state aid rules, Megan Darby at Climate Home reports. Eleven member states already have or are planning to...

LOCAL AUTHORITIES FAILING TO PLAN FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

New research reveals that the majority of new local plans in England are failing to cut carbon emissions and plan for the type of severe weather due to get more frequent over the next decade, Blue & Green Tomorrow reports today. The study was carried...

NEW EU DIRECTIVE: OCCUPATIONAL PENSIONS TO CONSIDER ESG

Daniel Brooksbank at Responsible Investor reports on the new revised European pension fund directive that was approved in Strasbourg on Thursday. The updated Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provisions directive (known as IORP2) covers the €3.2 trillion European occupational pensions market. The directive contains new requirements...

US OIL MAJORS LAGGING BEHIND EUROPEAN ON CLIMATE ACTION

A new report by the CDP which analyses a US$1.2tn grouping of the world’s major publicly-listed international oil and gas companies reveals a transatlantic divide as European companies outperform their US peers in preparedness for a low-carbon future by beginning to invest in alternative energy...

CLIMATE BONDS INITIATIVE’S COP22 GREEN BONDS DIRECTIONS PAPER

The Climate Bonds Initiative has released its COP22 Green Bond Directions paper, outlining growing awareness green bonds as nationally determined contributions (NDCs) financing tools. The paper highlights the substantial growth of the green bond market in 2016, to fund both climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. Issuance...

CDP: WATER STRESS COSTING COMPANIES BILLIONS

Environmental Finance, Business Green and The Guardian all feature articles this week on a new report by the CDP, which looks at how some of the world's largest listed companies are managing water risk. The CDP approached 1,200 of the worlds largest PLCs for the...

WHAT DOES A TRUMP PRESIDENCY MEAN FOR CLIMATE CHANGE?

Much of the world's climate activists and the responsible investment community are understandably concerned about what a Trump win will mean for the momentum on climate change: The president-elect has called climate change Chinese hoax to make American manufacturing less competitive, has promised to rip...

WHEN THE UNTHINKABLE HAPPENS

Many pundits, journalists and politicians on both sides of the pond have argued that Donald Trump's win was a rejection by the disenfranchised masses of an elitist establishment that has long ignored the concerns of working people. While we agree that this election has raised...

Citi’s $100bn commitment to environmental investments

Citigroup have stepped up their commitment to invest $100bn over ten years in environment related initiatives, including green bonds. This is an increase from their previous $50bn commitment between 2007-2016, a  target they have met early. The rationale for the commitment was presented as being both driven...

The new HNW wealth strategy: 100% impact

CSRWire reported on a small, but growing, movement of high net worth individuals that are allocating 100% of their investment portfolio to impact investments. Their motives? These are presented as varied, ranging from a passion for problem solving to a desire to pave the way for others to invest...

Do charity CEOs appreciate social finance?

Pioneers Post, the social enterprise magazine, reported this week that 56% of Charity CEOs do not think that repayable financing sources would benefit their organisations. How to interpret this figure? It suggests that over 40% of Charity CEOs think social finance would be beneficial which, for a relatively young form...

OECD releases new report on the impact investment market

The OECD have released a report entitled Social Impact Investment: building the evidence base. The report proposes a framework through which to assess the impact investment market and emphasises the need to gather further evidence in order to improve engagement with the sector and support its growth globally. The...

Natural capital: the next frontier for finance

The Guardian published a thought provoking piece last week on their sustainable business blog advocating a fundamental change to the financial system that accounts for the value of Nature in global growth, and the associated costs in damage to nature. The numbers presented in the article are staggering, for...

For-profit vs. non-profit models in microcredit

Are non-profit or for-profit microfinance providers more competitive? The question is timely given the recent OpEd published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review which questions whether investors in microfinance are expecting too much and, more importantly, what their expectations really are in terms of re-framing "profit" to mean maximising of...

UBS announces social investment tax relief (SITR) funds

This week saw UBS announce its support for social investment tax relief (SITR) funds in the UK, the first of which is due to launch in Q1 this year. As reported here by Pioneer's Post, the social enterprise magazine, the funds will target alleviation of inner-city poverty whilst also offering...

The technology and policy keys to financial inclusion for 2015

What's next for tech and financial inclusion? The Next Billion, a website focused on development through enterprise, has provided a handy guide to some of technology and policy that they see as key for financial inclusion in 2015, including increasing competition in the e-payments space and greater emphasis...

Our favourite headlines from Davos 2015

Not been following the Davos headlines? The Guardian Sustainable Business blog has been busy posting social and environmentally focused updates throughout the forum. Here are some of our favourite headlines: Will Unilever become the second publicly traded B Corp? Unilever's CEO says that the company may pursue the B Corp...

Impact investing in the words of London’s social entrepreneurs

The Pioneer's Post, a social enterprise magazine, have published a recap of a debate hosted by the School for Social Entrepreneurs entitled "Social Investment: friend or foe". The debate tackled an number of hot topics including the limits of market forces in meeting social needs, the role...

Accessibility of impact investing: HNWs vs. institutional investors

A couple of articles stood out this week for their portrayal of different investors' perspectives on impact investing. The first, an OpEd from the Huffington Post, highlights the emotive power of impact investments and the potential value to wealth managers in engaging private client interests in such "non-standard"...

Market News

The Nominet Trust gained news coverage with a review of the Nominet Trust 100 in the Telegraph. The Nominet Trust 100's highlights a host of diverse social tech start-ups and is a useful resource for anyone interested in finding out more about the social tech sector, or just looking...

Market News

The NextBillion, a website dedicated to exploring how enterprise can support development, recently published an OpEd on "Impact Imposters". The article stood out in highlighting one risk that increased attention around impact investing may bring, namely that organisations may adopt the "impact" term even where they...

Market News

Media reports last week outlined the current undertaking by the UK's PRA to engage with insurance firms in order to understand how they are valuing potential risks of environmental change. The reports indicate that the PRA is not simply addressing the risks of environmental change...

Good Deals

The final countdown to Good Deals has begun! There are only 2 weeks to go to purchase your tickets to Good Deals, the UK’s biggest social investment conference taking place on the 24th and 25th of November in London. Matter&Co are once again organising the...

Getting Started – FM’s Top 10 Reading List

Dig into Finance Matters’ Impact Investing 101 Top 10 reading list. These key pieces, selected by our team as the best current reports on theory and practice, are a must-read for anyone interested in sustainable finance and impact investing. Watch our Weekly for updates. The market: 1. The original...