Session videoStewardship

Responsible investing – The next giant leap

Responsible investment is a long-term movement whose time has come. How can its leaders take the movement further? This session examined the importance of impactful stewardship to deliver sustainable wealth creation and its potential to transform financial, social and environmental outcomes.

Speaker

Saker Nussebeih is chief executive of the international business of Federated Hermes, appointed November 2011, having joined in June 2009 as chief investment officer. He is also a member of the Federated Hermes Executive team. Prior to this, Nussebeih was global head of equities at Fortis Investments, having previously been CIO global equities since 2005. Before this, he was CIO of global equities and head of marketing for SGAM UK. This followed SGAM’s acquisition of Trust Company of the West, where Nussebeih was a managing director running global and international strategies, as well the London office. He started his career at Mercury Asset Management in 1987.
Nussebeih is founder of the 300 Club and was an inaugural member of the CFA Institute’s Future of Finance Advisory Council from 2013 until 2019. He is a member of the IIRC Council, the FCA-PRA Climate Financial Risk Forum, the United Nations Environmental Programme Financial Initiative Steering Committee, the Banking Standards Board, the UK National Advisory Board on Impact Investing, and the advisory Board of the National Youth Orchestra.
In 2018, Nussebeih was named CEO of the Year at the Financial News Asset Management Europe Awards. He has a BA and PhD in Medieval History from King's College, University of London.
He was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s 2019 New Year's Honours list for services to Responsible Business and Finance.

Moderator

White is responsible for the content across all Conexus Financial’s institutional media and events. She is responsible for directing the bi-annual Fiduciary Investors Symposium which challenges global investors on investment best practice and aims to place the responsibilities of investors in wider societal, and political contexts, as well as promote the long-term stability of markets and sustainable retirement incomes. She is the editor of www.top1000funds.com, the online news and analysis site for the world’s largest institutional investors. White has been an investment journalist for more than 20 years and has edited industry journals including Investment & Technology, Investor Weekly and MasterFunds Quarterly. She was previously editorial director of InvestorInfo and has worked as a freelance journalist for the Australian Financial Review, CFO, Asset and Asia Asset Management. She has a Bachelor of Economics from Sydney University and a Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney. She was previously a columnist for the Canadian publication, Corporate Knights, which is distributed by the Globe and Mail and The Washington Post. White is currently a fellow in the Finance Leaders Fellowship at the Aspen Institute. The two-year program consists of 22 fellows and seeks to develop the next generation of responsible, community-spirited leaders in the global finance industry.

Key takeaways

  • Long-term deep engagement on the issues that matter most leads to substantial outperformance versus the sector. Going forward, there will be an indisputable recognition by all investors that ownership of companies demands a critical element of stewardship.
  • Legitimate ESG managers have full integration, deep engagement with investee companies and a humility to accept that we are still learning. ESG is not a ‘do-gooder’ thing, it’s about doing capitalism better. I welcome every manager aiming to be an ESG manager. This is about us all winning, not one company winning.
  • Not believing in diversity is simply stupidity because it halves the supply chain.
  • COVID has taught us that culture, for example, has a real value in challenging circumstances which hasn’t always been truly acknowledged by investment analysis.
  • If you have a 30 year time horizon, expenditure on engagement is a value adding investment, not merely a cost.
  • Don’t bet on markets. Instead, invest and engage for the long-term. If you want to bet, go to Vegas, it’s a lot more fun.

Poll results

Should stewardship be mandatory?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe
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