The Industry Driven Agenda Shaping The Future of ESG Strategy

Theme 1: Looking Ahead to COP26


ESG Origination: Why Asset Owners Demand ESG

With the demand from shareholders, pension fund contributors and taxpayers becoming ever more ESG conscious, understand exactly what Asset Owners are looking for when requiring an ESG led portfolio:

  • Learn what new exclusions may be on the horizon, with coal, tobacco and even some forms of defence contracting being phased out of portfolios
  • Understand how asset owners are identifying risk, allowing you to position yourself within their scope of investment in the short and the long term
  • Grasp how ESG data clarity is a key concern for the largest pension funds, and why providing them with accurate data will result in much larger investment returns

Magnus Billing CEO Alecta

Simon Pilcher CEO USS Investment Management Limited

Niklas Ekvall CEO Fjarde AP-Fonden


The Paris Agreement & Mobilising Public Finance

The need for public bodies to add to climate financing is needed now more than ever. With $100bn a year as the primary goal to hit the Paris Agreement targets, it’s essential we utilise all avenues to make sure this is a reality.

  • Multilateral banks and finance development institutions will be essential in making sure that their entire portfolios are aligned with the Paris Agreement to finance low carbon transitions
  • Multilateral Climate Funds need to speed up programming and processing approvals and engage a broader array of donors, in order to advance the investing world beyond climate risk


Industry Leaders Mobilising Private Finance

As the mobilisation of private finance is one of the key drivers at COP26 and beyond, learn here how C-Suite leaders from some of the major asset managers are looking to mobilise their organisations.

  • From increasing disclosure requirements from those they invest in, to the production of higher quality ESG funds, accurate and reliable product building will be essential moving forwards
  • As Shareholder engagement becomes more critical, proactively tackling ESG issues will likely result in increased investment for those on the front foot
  • Appropriate Risk Management is fundamental to managing climate risks, requiring measurement to be more accurate than it has in previous attempts

Valérie Baudson CEO Amundi

Dr. Guido Fürer Group CIO, Member of the Group Executive Committee Swiss Re

Theme 2: The Evolving Global Policy, Regulation and Trade Landscape


European Taxonomy Regulation: Defining Sustainability

As the EU taxonomy defines sustainability and the ability to meet the European Green Deal by 2030, it’s essential that it covers all parts of ESG to provide a holistic definition of sustainability.

  • Understand where and how will the inclusion of the circular economy be included in the next iteration of the taxonomy, and what this means for investment disclosure
  • Evolving from a strictly environmental focus, understand how Social & Governance factors will come into play and where this will define risk and opportunity for years to come


Harmonising Frameworks: From Apples & Oranges, to Apples & Apples

Private bodies have created frameworks with varying rates of adoption. However, the questions remains around whether too many framework choices reduces the ability to effectively compare investments. Therefore, is harmonisation and universality needed to remove comparison risk, and allow easier and more accurate investment analysis?

  • Define the roadmap to framework harmonisation, allowing more transparency around ESG risks, more honest comparison, and more accurate results, and more reliable returns
  • What are the barriers to universality? Learn why geographic area, tax obligations and the accuracy of data are all key challenges that need solved in order to unify standards allowing better investment analysis

Margaret Franklin President and CEO CFA Institute


Central Banking: Climate Risks, Financial Stability and Monetary Policy

With climate risk becoming ever more present in the financial system, stability concerns are guaranteed to be asked. Central banks must now understand those risks, to accurately assess the impact of potential shocks to the system.

  • Learn how climate risk is a rising consideration on financial stability moving forwards, with stress testing and understanding exposure to risk becoming ever more necessary
  • Within monetary policy, how can framework be consistent with climate change and the goals of the ECB
  • Whilst corporate bond purchases and the reasoning behind their purchase is important, understand why the collateral framework in monetary policy operations is fundamental to the financial system


The Future of SFDR: Advancement into Level 2

SFDR level 1 has helped seen a dramatic increase in product segmentation, yet discrepancies in categorisation remain. What can we expect from the introduction for SFDR Level 2?

  • Questions remain around whether SFDR is fit for purpose, specifically around the coverage of 2nd order effects, and whether more holistic consideration of environmental effects will present future pitfalls or opportunities
  • As the move from classification to comparison commences, understand how both investors & distributors are becoming the ‘new regulators’, defining where superior returns can be found

Theme 3: Shareholder Engagement, Activism, Resolutions and Proxy Voting


Innovation or Exit: Engagement vs Divestment

There are major ESG concerns around simple divestment, especially when considering essentials like cement or steel. How can shareholders engage with these companies to improve their ESG ratings, or is divestment sometimes a necessary tool to enact change?

  • Learn how investors engage with a company to demand innovation to change their ESG outlook, and how this unlocks huge potential returns
  • Debate how investors can inform the public and politicians on how to change industries like cement or steel into climate positive, investable opportunities where ESG


Executive Remuneration – A Target’s based approach?

Shareholders are becoming more and more aware of the disparity in earning’s between executives and the average worker, and how much of their investment ends up in the hands of sometimes underperforming management. How can this be tracked better?

  • With increased regulation and disclosures coming into place, a fair and honest review will help identify effective leadership in potential prospects
  • Closer to home, investing executives will need to be able to quantitatively demonstrate ESG success or face a shareholder revolt


The Annual General Meeting: Accuracy and Voter Empowerment

With the introduction of a decarbonised future from the International Energy Agency, transparency as to what is required to meet ESG targets means shareholders can hold their board members, management and investments to account more than ever.

  • With data allowing such an accurate depiction of results, how will the affect major shareholder voting in upcoming AGM’s?
  • With accuracy comes accountability, and the ability of the shareholder to act upon their understanding. Learn how to meet ESG standards and by extension shareholder trust

Theme 4: Data Analysis, Ai, Machine Learning and Data Mining


Crystal Clear: The Need for Data Clarity

As data is fundamental to ESG success, the importance of it’s clarity and accuracy cannot be overstated. However, with some data reporting 5x less emissions than actually occur, how can you ensure data quality to ensure accurate risk management?

  • How do investors reliably source investment grade data, to help make investment grade decisions, and secure investment grade returns
  • What due diligence do investors need to undertake when comparing external data against their own, to guarantee that future opportunities can provide excellent returns


Sovereign Risk: Assessing Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss through Country Data

With country data becoming increasingly focused on, how do investors use what is typically poor quality data to assess their climate risk?

  • How do we ensure less ESG compliant countries can become more so in the long run, thus removing previous unaccounted for climate risk for investors
  • Is it a better trade-off to allow cash flows to go towards ESG initiatives, rather than paying down sovereign debt, thus unlocking the ESG potential of a region & highlighting an early mover advantage

Moderator: Fergus McCormick Director, Sovereign Research Emerging Markets Investors Alliance


Task Force for Nature Related Financial Disclosures

Nature-related risks are demanded to be accounted for by shareholders. As a more specific evolution of the TCFD, how does TCND provide a framework for that to happen?

  • With specific challenges around measurement and data, how does the TCND allow investors to accurately and reliably account for nature-related risks?
  • From satellite data to country specific data, understand how new methods of data aggregation can lead to better identification of legitimate and growing nature-based investing opportunities

Theme 5: “Impact”: Developing Metrics and Defining Intent


Carbon Market and Impact on ESG initiatives

With dramatic and unpredictable swings in the price of carbon, investments can be over-exposed to climate risk and face negative impacts on returns. What should this price be, and how will it affect the value of carbon intensive investments moving forwards?

  • With ever expanding environmental data, both in terms of geography and organisations, how is this distilled into a useable, actionable plan?
  • Using this action plan, how can potential superior returns be spotted and risks be avoided, and where do potential false positives lie?


Net Zero – We know what it means, but how do we use it?

As the UN pushes for the race to net zero with a science-based targets model, with shareholders following closely behind, what knowledge do you need to understand exactly who is reaching net-zero, and what climate risk this exposes you to in the short and long term.

  • How do science-based targets allow us to delineate between marketing and legitimate plans for avoiding climate risk and capturing opportunity?
  • Learn here why a clear path to net-zero increases your ability to analyse more opportunities in a more detailed way, allowing you to capture more reliable and better returns

Theme 6: Pledges, Alliances and Coalitions – Making Public Commitments for Action


Is Brand, Budget and Track Record Critical?

Long established and trusted brands provide reassurance in the allocation decision process, but does this equate to real value? Newcomers can be innovators and propose credible, forward-thinking investment philosophy for those brave enough to consider:

  • How emerging managers are capitalising on the ESG investment boom to offer differentiated investment strategies that are proving successful
  • Understand the risk associated with stepping away from established players and how these can be mitigated


The Value of Joining an Investor Alliance

Going beyond a public statement to join a specific alliance, coalition or initiative sounds like a positive step, yet, do all initiatives provide real enough guidance, learning, and value?

  • Unlock strategic insights and practical guidance by joining valuable investor initiatives
  • How green/social-washing and tick-box exercises can destroy investment value

Dr Bronwyn King, AO, MBBS, FRANZCR Founder, Director and CEO Tobacco Free Portfolios

Denis Duverne Chairman of the Board AXA

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