Tipping Points: Webinar
Tipping Points: Quotes from Researchers
It has been more than a half century since Harry Markowitz popularized diversification and portfolio level investing, for which he later won a Nobel Prize. Since then, capital markets around the world have changed dramatically, and the global financial crisis was a game changing wake-up call. Against this dynamic backdrop, investors are evolving and realizing that global financial, environmental and social systems have major ramifications on their investments and, simultaneously, their investments have deep impacts on those systems.The report illustrates the new policies and practices that investors are embedding into their business culture and investment strategies. We now have concrete evidence that investors are intentionally confronting global environmental, social and financial systems challenges in a way that makes financial sense.
A lot of work is left to be done to better understand the complex relationship between systems and portfolios. But, this study demonstrates that institutional investors, whether implicitly or explicitly, understand that the world is becoming increasingly interconnected.Previously, investors could find ways to insulate their portfolios from certain global events. Today, even seemingly ‘local’ events can immediately and adversely affect all portfolios. Because the largest and most influential investors are recognizing this trend and beginning to consider the connection between planetary systems under stress and adversely effected portfolio performance, we are looking at a potentially critical shift in the evolution of investment.
Tipping Points: Highlights
- PGGM, the Dutch pension fund manager, has allocated a multi-billion dollar portion of its assets to what it describes as a “solutions” portfolio focused on four issues: climate change, food, healthcare and water.
- The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund invests in enterprises “in a manner designed to support economic activity and employment in Ireland.”
- To contribute to the vitality of Montreal, the regionally focused Caisse de depot de Quebec has invested in a combination of public transportation and downtown office buildings and hotels.
- The largest investor in the world, BlackRock, has created an impact division to design bespoke investment programs and has made a name for itself through its investment stewardship program which has taken a long-term, sustainability approach for all its portfolio companies.
- The New York State Common Retirement System has worked with Goldman Sachs to create a low-carbon equity index fund to which it has allocated $2 billion.
- webinar, California State Teachers Retirement System has allocated $2.5 billion to an MSCI low-carbon index fund, and also has worked with the NGO Ceres to query 45 fossil fuel companies about their strategic plans under various energy/climate scenarios.
Tipping Points: Intentional Decision with 10 Tools
One of the most important findings of the report is the identification of ten tools through which investors express this intentionality:
The Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute is a nonprofit research organization that funds academic and practitioner research enabling investors, policymakers, and other stakeholders to make data-driven decisions. IRRCi research covers a wide range of topics of interest to investors, is objective, unbiased, and disseminated widely.