Updated: Jan 11
What is your background in CSR/Social Impact/Sustainability/Communications if any?
I am the Head of Business Development at Globalance and have a background of more than 20 years in the sustainable finance industry. For SAM Sustainable Asset Management, I built up their business strategy for and in Asia. Today, I am in charge of the business development of Globalance. My mission is to make sure, that we innovate and differentiate ourselves from traditional banks that continue to remain lethargic. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Economic Sciences and a Master’s degree in Executive International Management as well as a MBA.
What do you do at your organization in terms of CSR/Social Impact/Sustainability, how do you monitor and report (non-financial reporting) the outcomes and what are the goals?
The world of tomorrow is coming faster than most people think. But many portfolios are still invested in the past and are therefore prone to future risks. With our investment philosophy, we build sustainable portfolios that are well prepared for our changing word. We invest in so-called Future Movers. These are companies that successfully respond to worldwide megatrends and develop solutions for global challenges. Every investment has an impact, and every shareholder has a responsibility. Therefore, it’s a must that we invest in assets that have a positive impact on the economy, society, and the environment.
This impact is measured by the Globalance Footprint. An analysis and information tool developed by us that provides transparent information about the impact of each investment.
On November 16, 2020, we launched our groundbreaking digital platform Globalance World. Users can discover the climate path of their investments on a digital, interactive globe, the megatrends their assets are invested in, and where in the world and specifically in which countries their investments have a positive or negative footprint. For example, the global warming potential of the SPI is 3.8 degrees Celsius, the DAX is 4.3 degrees Celsius, the S&P 500 is 3.3 degrees, and the Shanghai Index is 4.3 degrees.
Our goal is to set new transparency standards for investments and to allow users to better understand the complex interrelationships of investments in order to make responsible investment decisions. The world is not only a marketplace, but also a home. That’s what we want our investors to understand and care about.
What do you think does an organization need if it wants to start introducing CSR/Social Impact/Sustainability practices? First of all, high conviction, enormous dedication, and full transparency. Second, this approach needs to be supported by the whole management and all employees. Third, the right people are needed: they have to be aligned with the mindset and goals of your organization. Fourth, you have to walk the talk, innovate, challenge the existing, think differently and stay motivated with what you are doing.
Do you feel that differentiating yourself through impact has brought an added value to your business and reduces risks? In what way? Absolutely. The change in the way how people start thinking of their investments confirms that we have hit the nail on the head with our business model. There is no doubt, that investors want to achieve a return, but it’s also important to them, that their wealth has a positive impact on the economy, society, and the environment. Look at Millennials: they no longer accept investments which harm society and the environment. By including extra-financial data in our investment process, we address their needs and at the same time reduce investment risks.
“Just think about the carbon bubble. Would you like to be invested in fossil fuel companies? Climate change policies could strand assets in this sector. As a consequence, these companies could suffer from unanticipated or premature write-downs and devaluations and the share price most probably will drop dramatically. “
Do you see a change in behavior in your consumers? Yes, our investors no longer want to deal with societal and environmental risks in their portfolios. And they are starting to avoid banks, that do not take such risks into consideration. Today, investors take care of the environment in their daily lives, e.g. by using their bicycle more often, thinking twice if it makes sense to take the plane, eating less meat, looking for sustainably sourced food etc. Now, they realize, that they can take care of their wealth in a similar way. Money has an impact. So, they start allocating their money to companies that have a decent footprint, a low global warming potential and that are building on megatrends such as climate and energy or scarcity of resources. They start investing in companies that address global challenges with their business models. We have the same goal.
How do new technologies and this digital age influence your work? Do you use them? We use our digital platform Globalance World to inform our clients what impact their wealth has on the economy, society, and the environment. It’s a great tool to understand in detail what their wealth is achieving. Think about Google Earth. We have developed the Google Earth of your wealth. And from a business perspective, Corona has forced us to integrate and use new technologies in our daily business. To my surprise, our home office activities led to the best year Globalance has ever experienced since our foundation in 2011.
In your view, what’s the biggest challenge when it comes to marketing CSR/Social Impact/Sustainability efforts to the world in a more active way than merely through your sustainability report? There is still an awful lot of greenwashing out here. So how do you differentiate yourself from others that have fancy brochures? Should you have fancy brochures, too? I have a strong view on that: you absolutely need to be serious about what you do and constantly work on being different than others and this makes you much more valuable and credible. We have no inherited liabilities, and we love to innovate. That’s how we stay ahead of the competition.