With January in the rear-view mirror, the pace picked up this month. For the first time since the pandemic, the one-day conference has returned. I attended not one but two all-day London events. And I loved it! Getting paid to write up the key takeaways from one conference felt fantastic. This month also saw the publication of my first article for Sustainable Investment which asked how the LDI crisis has impacted closed private sector defined benefit schemes’ ability to invest sustainably. My networking event on last day of last month covered the same theme and was a rip-roaring success. The next event will be on Wednesday, 22nd March – do get in touch if you would like to come!

Time of your life

For Abba-enthusiasts, it’s the dancefloor which makes them feel regal but I find happiness in a convention centre. What’s not to love about days spent in a windowless hall listening to people speak then networking your bamboo socks off between sessions? I treat attending the annual PLSA conference as military operation with a plan honed over many years. So, imagine my delight at attending not one, but two, all-day London conferences this month! Being paid by conference organisers to produce a write-up of the key takeaways was the icing on the cake. You can read how I helped to summarise the Natural Capital conference here. Get in touch if you are holding an event and want to make the most of its content.

Why defined benefit schemes are falling behind on greening their portfolios

My first piece for Sustainable Investment examines the impact of last year’s LDI crisis on the ability of closed defined benefit schemes to invest sustainably. I discuss how many pension schemes portfolios are now far from their strategic allocations and how they are unlikely to allocate further to private markets – which could reduce their impact footprint. But with many needing to rebuild their liquid portfolios there is opportunity for pension trustees to be ambitious about how they embed sustainable investment principles in these portfolios.

Networking event

On the last day of January, I held my latest networking event where we discussed how difficult the LDI crisis had been for many schemes as they struggled to meet their collateral payments. One panellist explained if there is less leverage in the future, trustees will find they have less available to invest in return assets. We also discussed similar themes to those addressed in my article for Sustainable Investment – that allocations to private markets are likely to be curtailed but there is an opportunity to embed sustainable investment principles in new listed mandates. The next networking event takes place on Wednesday, 22nd March – get in touch if you want to come!

Avoid being labelled a greenwasher

Credibility is vital to building trust with potential and current clients. That’s true for any asset manager but especially important for those who want to be perceived as a best-in-class sustainable investment manager. To avoid being labelled a greenwasher you need a clear purpose and a way to communicate that vision. I created this quiz to identify your current sustainable investment strengths and weaknesses. It helps you to improve so you can stay ahead of your competitors. Curious? Then take the test! It’s only 15 questions and takes only three minutes.

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