Past SSF Events 2017

10 April 2017, Investimenti sostenibili: il manuale e l'argomentario per gli adetti ai lavori

With the presentation of its latest two publications in Ticino, SSF managed to attract the attention of around 80 finance professionals. At an event taking place in Villa Negroni near Lugano on 10 April, the two publications were presented and in a lively panel discussion recent developments in the field of sustainable investments were debated jointly with the audience.

Alberto Stival, SSF representative in Ticino, first provided an encompassing overview on the intention behind and content of the handbook on sustainable investments. He stressed the broad array of different sustainable investment approaches available today, all of which are described in the handbook. As illustrated by some statements of leading institutional asset owner associations’ representatives, motives for investing sustainably vary considerably, while all of them expressed their conviction, that it’s the way forward for institutional investors.

In the second part, Stefano Montobbio, Research Director at EFG International and leader of SSF’s private wealth management workgroup illustrated the 10 arguments for sustainable investing presented in the latest SSF publication. Referring to different studies prepared in his own research department as well as by third parties, he brought some flesh to the bone of the arguments. One chart based on own data, showed companies with high ESG scores outperforming low ESG score companies while having considerably lower volatility over the past five years.

In the panel discussion, Alida Carcano, CEO and Partner of Valeur Fiduciaria, and Alessandra Oligno, Marketing & Client Relationship Manager at RepRisk, in addition to Stefano, provided practical insights into changing client demand. According to Alida’s experience, the attention of private clients for such investments can easily be gained by talking about a specific subject, such as the benefit of gender diversity. Alessandra described the changing demand for data on reputational risks, first only relevant for investment banks in their lending process and now mainly for investors to eliminate risks. The inputs from the audience reflected the fact that sustainable investing increasingly appears on the radar both of institutional as of private clients, in Ticino as much as elsewhere.

Download Alberto Stival's presentation

Download SSF handbook on sustainable investments

Download Stefano Montobbio' presentation

Watch the SSF Video

Download SSF publication on 10 arguments

Download event program


 

22 March 2017, Die Zukunft im Portfolio – wie Banken auf veränderte Kundenbedürfnisse eingehen

On 22 March, Swiss Sustainable Finance held an event in Zurich to present its newest publication for client advisors in Swiss private banking. This SSF report, accompanied by a short film on this topic, highlights the opportunity created for Swiss private banking by the combination of Swiss strengths and clients’ growing demand for investments with a positive impact.

 

Sabine Döbeli (CEO, SSF) welcomed the audience of 100 professionals and introduced the keynote speaker Herbert J. Scheidt (President, SBA). Mr. Scheidt took the opportunity to present facts and recent examples that illustrate how Swiss private banking and asset management is in a state of flux. He reminded the audience that sustainable investments can serve to advance the market and ultimately add to the already strong Swiss financial centre. He closed his speech with a call to action directed at the entire industry to further engage in the topic and increase efforts to incorporate sustainable investing in their activities.

Following the keynote, Kelly Hess (Project Manager, SSF) presented the report’s 10 arguments for sustainable investments in more detail. She outlined that there is in fact already increasing client interest in sustainable investments, but advisors nevertheless hesitate to bring forth this topic when discussing investment opportunities. In close cooperation with its private wealth management workgroup, SSF therefore developed a convincing set of arguments for Swiss banks to take advantage of this increasing demand for sustainable investments. The arguments can be grouped into the 3 categories improved client interaction, positive effects on financial performance and close correlation with traditional Swiss strengths. Each argument in the report is supported by numerous studies and quotations from clients and advisors. SSF also presented additional supporting material related to the 10 arguments aimed at helping advisors to effectively bring up the subject in their client meetings. Finally, SSF debuted a short film targeted specifically at client advisors and wealth managers at the end of the presentation.

During the panel, discussion revolved around how Swiss banks are reacting to growing client interest in sustainability and corresponding financial products. Leopold zu Oettingen-Wallerstein (Adeptus Vermögensverwaltungs-GmbH) brought into the discussion the perspective of a “next generation” high net worth individual and shared his view that banks are not focusing their activities on engaging with the next generation of investors and rarely offer them products with direct impact. He encouraged them to foster an inter-generational dialogue within wealthy families to engage them in long-term investment strategies. Orlando Marchesi (Senior Relationship Manager HNWI, Credit Suisse) gave insights into the value impact products offer to his clients and explained how developing sustainable investment strategies is especially relevant for foundations. Viktor Nicpali (Team-Head Key Clients, ZKB) confirmed that talking about sustainability offers new insights into client preferences and personal values and therewith deepens the client relationship. Nils Ossenbrink (Global Head Advisory Solutions & Products, EFG Bank) gained experience in mainstreaming sustainable investment strategies in previous roles and sees it as an important element of high quality asset management to integrate ESG factors into the process. The four panellists agreed that important developments are indeed underway, however there is still ample room for improvement for sustainable investments in the Swiss financial centre.

Download Herbert J. Scheidt's keynote speech
(The spoken word takes precedence)

Download Kelly Hess' presentation

Watch the SSF Video

Download SSF publication

Download event program


 

26 January 2017, Behind the scenes - the final TCFD report and its consequences for the financial sector

The Taskforce on Climate related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) was established by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and mandated to produce recommendations for voluntary climate-related financial disclosures which provide decision-useful information to lenders, insurers and investors. In December 2016, the TFCD released their second report with recommendations on climate risk disclosure. The recommendations could drastically change the way companies and investors deal with climate risk disclosures.

SSF gave its members the opportunity to hear first-hand from TCFD member Andreas Spiegel (Head Group Sustainability Risk, Swiss Re, and member TCFD) about the content of this important report and its consequences for the financial sector. Andreas provided background information on the process in defining the relevant key-performance indicators and best ways to use them in financial decision making.

Download the presentation

Two reports with relevant content on carbon disclosure and performance that were mentioned during the webinar:

Global 3500 Greenhouse gas performance 2010-2015

The Emissions Gap Report 2016


 

16 January 2017, Conférence et table ronde: Investisseurs institutionnels et finance durable - concilier performance financière et attentes de la société

On 16 January, Swiss Sustainable Finance held an event in Lausanne to present the SSF handbook to its members and other interested parties in the Romandie. Jean-Daniel Gerber (President, Swiss Sustainable Finance) welcomed the audience of over 100 professionals and introduced the keynote speaker Prof. Jacques-André Schneider (Professor of Law, University of Lausanne).

 

Prof. Schneider illustrated the evolution of responsible investment in the US using the example of TIAA-CREF, a large pension fund the size of the entire second pillar market of Switzerland. While at first this pension fund had to defend its ethical criteria against the fiduciary duty argument, regulation evolved to the point that ESG factors turned into an aspect that nowadays belongs to careful risk management.

Following the keynote, Jean Laville (Deputy CEO, Swiss Sustainable Finance) presented the SSF handbook. He emphasized that this comprehensive publication can be used by asset owners to increase their knowledge on the topic and gain insights to help them take a stance in the area of sustainable finance. The launch of the French version marks an important milestone for sustainable finance in Switzerland, as the handbook can serve as a point of reference for the definition of different approaches available in the Swiss market. Jean thanked the over 30 contributors from the SSF members' base highlighting that the publication would not have been possible without them.

Afterwards, a diverse panel moderated by Angela de Wolff (Co-Founder, Conser Invest, Vice-President, Swiss Sustainable Finance) discussed how to balance performance and expectations of society. Anne Gloor (Founder and Board Member, PeaceNexus Foundation), Pascale Pfeiffer (Head of Sustainability and Art, Mobiliar) and Jean-Rémy Roulet (President, Swiss Pension Fund Association (ASIP)) shared their experiences with developing their own sustainable investment policies and debated barriers and opportunities associated with the setup of their policies. Pascale Pfeiffer explained that having a clear mandate as an internal sustainability specialist helps to work with colleagues from asset management on the practical implementation of the sustainable investment policy. She further admitted that peer pressure was always useful to speed up the adoption.

Jean-Rémy Roulet by referring to the Minder Initiative stressed the point that making the adoption of non-financial criteria mandatory does not necessarily result in the most effective procedure. He emphasized the importance to let pension funds find their own way in how to best integrate sustainability aspects. He referred to ASIP supporting its members by preparing a short film which explains the main forms of sustainable investments and their objectives.

Anne Gloor impressively illustrated how her foundation set up a fund for peace-building, helping the foundation to strengthen the achievement of its mission. She called on asset managers to expand their offering for specific needs of different investors.

The three panellists agreed that the handbook was a useful starting point for many different investors' serving while they considered it an important next step to provide hands-on practical tools for the different levels of implementation.

Download Jacques-André Schneider's presentation

Download Jean Laville's presentation

Download SSF handbook on sustainable investments

Download event program

 

 

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