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Sustainability workshop

Investing to tackle climate risk

  • Agenda

    It is fitting for us to be beginning our journey from Investec Asset Management to Ninety One with you today.

    This pivotal moment for the climate and future generations reminds us of the changing times in which we live. Back in ’91, when we started our investment firm, change was also coming. Along with its challenges came the chance to invest in a better tomorrow.

    Continuing to be part of that change, makes us who we are.

    We’re still the same company, with the same passion for the future, but with an exciting new name and identity; a celebration of our beginning and whatever comes next.

    Event details

    Thursday 21st November 2019

    The Ned
    27 Poultry,
    London EC2R 8AJ
    Time: 10.00am – 2.00pm​

    View map



    Registration and coffee


    Welcome to your Sustainability workshop
    John Green, Co-Chief Executive Officer


    Climate change and the structural shifts in the global economy
    Dr. Charles Donovan, Director of the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College


    How can you tackle climate risk? Divestment, investment or both?
    Deirdre Cooper, Portfolio Manager – Global Environment

    Deirdre addresses some of the most challenging questions in adapting your portfolio allocations to account for climate risk. The workshop and Q&A session will discuss topics including:

    • Can divestment mitigate climate risk? How effectively can carbon divestment strategies reduce climate risk and how can improving data on emissions impact your investment approach?
    • How can you invest positively in the energy transition? Where are the opportunities to invest in companies that are reducing carbon emissions and enabling the transition?
    • Will the low rate environment change the speed of transition? Deirdre Cooper and Dr Charles Donovan explore the relationship between low rates and the transition.




    Panel: How can we engineer a Just Transition?
    Host: Tom Nelson, Head of Natural Resources, Investec Asset Management 
    Nick Robins, Professor in Practice – Sustainable Finance, London School of Economics 
    Carine de Boissezon, Chief Sustainability Officer, International Division, EDF
    Peter Wallach, Merseyside Pension Fund, Director of Pensions

    This panel of experts, peers and practitioners will address the pressing need for the transition to a decarbonised economy to be a ‘Just Transition’. The social consequences of the transition are enormous considering the impact on employment, energy equality and social justice. The investment implications too are significant and asset allocators will need to actively address the need for a ‘Just Transition’ in their policies and investment approach.


    Panel: How can research advances reshape sustainable investing?
    Host: Mike Hugman, Portfolio Manager – Emerging Market Fixed Income, Investec Asset Management 
    Dr. Susanne Schmitt, Nature and Spatial Finance Lead, WWF 
    Matt Evans, Portfolio Manager – UK Sustainable Equities, Investec Asset Management 
    Victoria Harling, Head of Emerging Markets Corporate Debt, Investec Asset Management

    Can investors drive greater accountability in governments and companies to safeguard a more sustainable future? In this workshop session our panel discuss:

    • Forward looking sustainable investing. Our joint research work with WWF on ‘Sustainability & Satellites’ demonstrates how assessing the potential use of geo-spatial research could transform investors’ ability to address environmental risk.
    • The changing face of engagement. Historically, sovereign debt research trips have formed well-trodden paths to Central Banks and Ministries of finance. Companies too are finding meetings with investors is no longer the domain of the CFO. How are engagement priorities influencing research agendas?
    • Can the way we allocate capital change actions? How might lenders influence demands on governments and companies in the future? Will innovative ideas like state-contingent instruments linked to capacity to pay, SDG linked bonds or ESG linked bonds join the mainstream? Is there room for innovation to influence corporates?


    Keynote speaker: Mike Berners-Lee - There is No Planet B, A Handbook for the Make or Break Years
    The author of How bad are bananas: the carbon footprint of everything and There is no Planet B, A Handbook for the Make or Break Years is an expert on carbon footprints. Mike sets out the scale and range of problems in clear terms and presents practical actions we can adopt to make a difference.


    Buffet lunch

  • Speakers and panellists

    Speakers and panellists

    John Green

    John is Co-Chief Executive Officer at Investec Asset Management. John is based in South Africa and is a member of the Global Executive Committee. John joined the company in 1998. He assumed the Co-CEO role in October 2018. Investec Asset Management has grown from a small South African start-up to an international specialist asset management firm entrusted with over €120.7 billion* of client assets.

    Dr. Charles Donovan

    Director of the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College

    Charles Donovan is Director of the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College Business School and Principal Teaching Fellow in the Department of Management. In his corporate career, he was most recently Head of Structuring and Valuation for Alternative Energy at BP plc, where he managed a team responsible for analysis and financing of large renewable energy projects in North America, Europe and Asia.

    Deirdre Cooper

    Deirdre is a portfolio manager for the Global Environment Strategy in the Natural Resources team at Investec Asset Management. She joined the team in 2018, and is a utility, infrastructure and energy transition specialist.

    Tom Nelson

    Tom is the Head of Natural Resources at Investec Asset Management. He joined the team in 2012 as co-portfolio manager of the Global Energy Fund.

    Prior to Investec Asset Management, Tom spent seven years at Guinness Asset Management. He was part of the team that managed the outsourced Investec Global Energy Fund from 2005 to 2008, and was subsequently instrumental in the launch of the Guinness Global Energy Fund in 2008.

    Nick Robins

    Professor in Practice, Sustainable Finance, London School of Economics

    From 2014 to 2018, Nick was co-director of UN Environment’s Inquiry into a Sustainable Finance System. As part of this, Nick led country activities in Brazil, the EU, India, Italy and the UK, as well as thematic work focused on investors, insurance and green banking.

    Carine de Boissezon

    Chief Sustainability Officer, International Division, EDF

    Prior to her current role, Carine was the Finance Director of the International Division for EDF where she was responsible for the performance management of the underlying international assets and their contribution to the overall group objectives, primarily their plan to triple assets outside of Europe by 2030.

    Peter Wallach

    Director of Pensions, Merseyside Pension Fund

    Peter started his career in private banking with Coutts, working in the City for 12 years. In 1997 he relocated to the North-West working initially for Close Wealth Management as an Investment Manager. In 2004, he joined Merseyside Pension Fund, taking up his current position as Director of Pensions in April 2007.

    Michael Hugman

    Portfolio Manager, Emerging Market Fixed Income, Investec Asset Management

    Michael is a portfolio manager, investment specialist and strategist in the Global Emerging Market Debt team at Investec Asset Management. He is responsible for managing the Emerging Markets Blended Debt Strategy and Emerging Markets Multi-Asset Strategy. He is also responsible for Latin American regional and Top-Down asset allocation research and generating trade ideas including top-down/global themes and quantitative modelling.

    Dr Susanne Schmitt

    Nature and Spatial Finance Lead, WWF

    Susanne is a conservation professional with more than 20 years’ experience at the intersection of the fields of biodiversity, sustainable finance, geo-spatial intelligence, the extractives industries and sustainable natural resource management.

    Matt Evans

    Portfolio Manager, UK Sustainable Equities, Investec Asset Management

    Matt is a portfolio manager at Investec Asset Management, with a focus on UK Smaller Companies within the Quality team. Matt is based in the London office.

    Victoria Harling

    Portfolio Manager, Emerging Markets Corporate Debt, Investec Asset Management

    Victoria is Head of Emerging Market Corporate Debt and is responsible for managing the Emerging Market Corporate Debt Strategy and the Emerging Market Investment Grade Corporate Debt Strategy at Investec Asset Management.

    Mike Berners-Lee

    Mike is a researcher and writer on greenhouse gases. He is a professor and fellow of the Institute for Social Futures at Lancaster University and director and principal consultant of Small World Consulting, based in the Lancaster Environment Centre at the university. His books include How Bad are Bananas, The Burning Question and There Is No Planet B. He is considered an expert on carbon footprints.

  • Latest thinking

    Our latest thinking

    Empowering investors to find solutions to climate change through though positive investment and active engagement.

    Climate risk – are we doing enough?

    The series proposes a decision-making framework to help asset owners assess and report on the impact of climate risk on their portfolios.

    Why the climate crisis won’t be solved without social justice

    Our urgent message for asset owners, policymakers and individuals is to come together to act in support of the just transition.

    Invest positively to hedge against climate change

    UK case study: What can investors be doing to mitigate climate risk in their portfolios and take advantage of the structural growth areas from decarbonisation?

    New frontiers in sovereign debt investing

    Could advances in geo-spatial research transform sovereign debt investors’ ability to address environmental risks?

    Important information

    This communication is provided for general information only should not be construed as advice. All the information in is believed to be reliable but may be inaccurate or incomplete. The views are those of the contributor at the time of publication and do not necessary reflect those of Investec Asset Management.
    Any opinions stated are honestly held but are not guaranteed and should not be relied upon. All rights reserved. Issued by Investec Asset Management, issued November 2019.

  • There Is No Planet B

    There Is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years

    - Mike Berners-Lee

    Feeding the world, climate change, biodiversity, antibiotics, plastics - the list of concerns seems endless. But what is most pressing, what are the knock-on effects of our actions, and what should we do first? Keynote speaker Mike Berners-Lee’s book ‘There Is No Planet B’ maps this out in an accessible and entertaining way, filled with astonishing facts and analysis. You'll find big-picture perspective on the environmental and economic challenges of the day laid out in one place, and traced through to the underlying roots - questions of how we live and think.

    To receive a complimentary Kindle edition of this book, please provide the email address that is associated with your Kindle account, and you will receive a link to download the book.