Ansvar Insurance Company has reappointed Lombard Odier Investment Managers (LOIM) as the manager of its sustainable investment portfolio.

The insurer focuses on the private, non-life insurance market in The Netherlands. This mandate was awarded to LOIM following a recent competitive tender review, the firm said.

LOIM and Ansvar first entered into a partnership in December 2015 and have worked closely together since 2018, driving forward Ansvar’s mission to recalibrate sustainability as far as possible within its investment policy. Significant progress has been made since then.

LOIM manages around €130m of assets for Ansvar, which is invested in a balanced mandate. The fixed income pocket is largely invested in green bonds, with a focus on companies which are on the right trajectory to meet climate goals.

The TargetNetZero equity strategies have a wide range of client objectives covering the risk of transition, the opportunities and the physical risks associated with climate change. The portfolios include companies already targeting net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, as well as those without such targets but who may be brought into line through regulatory action, investor engagement and market changes.

Femke Bakker, financial director at Ansvar Verzekeringsmaatschappij/Turien & Co, said: “LOIM has been an excellent partner for us for many years, with whom we can take great steps together in making the investment policy even more sustainable. In addition, it is a progressive party in the field of sustainability with a shared vision and committed professionals that we enjoy working with.”

bfinance adopts Impact Investing Principles for Pensions

Independent investment consultancy bfinance has become an official adopter of the Impact Investing Principles for Pensions from the Impact Investing Institute.

In doing so, the firm commits to supporting pension fund clients in setting impactful objectives and implementing investment strategies in relation to those objectives and evaluating investment managers’ impact capabilities, it said.

bfinance’s adoption of the Impact Investing Principles follows the appointment of Sarita Gosrani as ESG director.

The Impact Investing Principles state that an adopter will:

  1. routinely include impact investing as a key topic for consideration with both new and existing pension fund clients;
  2. support pension clients in reviewing the environmental, social and governance impacts across their investment portfolio and provide recommendations;
  3. support pension fund clients to set impactful objectives and interim targets, implement their strategy, and manage and monitor their investments in relation to their impact objectives by providing effective tools; and
  4. support pension fund clients to make changes to their objectives, investments and third-party advisers and investment managers based on their management, monitoring and review of progress.

bfinance’s commitment to the Impact Investing Principles comes after its recent launch of the Net Zero Investment Consultants Initiative (NZICI), which details nine specific action points with the goal of global net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner, and was launched alongside 11 other investment consulting firms.

The endorsement of the Impact Investment Principles is also part of bfinance’s dedicated efforts to assist clients in their journey to net zero, it added.

Gosrani said: “ESG integration is fast becoming a norm, and investors are increasingly wanting to invest with impact. Navigating entry to the rapidly evolving impact product universes across a diverse range of asset classes is not always straight-forward, and asset owners wanting to allocate to impact funds face some distinct challenges, from education on what impact they can have to weeding out the impact washing that is still highly prevalent.”

She said that bfinance was committed to supporting clients in this “extremely important space and expect investor demand to continue to grow in the coming years”.

Finnish investor bets in sustainable cashew production

Finnfund, a Finnish impact investor, has invested $10m (€9.3m) in a project that will help set up a new cashew processing plant in Côte d’Ivoire, with the expectation to become a leading cashew kernel processor in the country.

The debt facility commitment is to be made through Valency International Trading SARL, a Valency International Group company.

Valency International Group is a diversified, integrated supply chain manager in agri-commodities and agri-inputs with subsidiaries in 15 countries.

The facility is expected to contribute to the development of sustainable cashew production and processing in Côte d’Ivoire. Through this investment, Valency will increase domestic cashew nut processing capacity, create quality jobs particularly for low-skilled workers, especially women, and develop supply chains relying on smallholder cashew producers in the rural areas, it was announced.

Once operational, the new processing plant is expected to have a processing capacity of 45,000 tons of raw cashew nut per year. With this capacity, the company is expected to generate approximately 2,000 direct jobs and cooperate and provide income for up to 10,000 smallholders.

Due to the large capacity of the processing plant, the company is expected to reach up to 5% of the cashew farmers in the country.

Valency is committed to responsible business practices and to developing sustainability and transparency in the cashew supply chain.

Markus Pentikäinen, investment manager at Finnfund, said: “We are glad to support the growth and development of Valency’s operations in Côte d’Ivoire, and simultaneously, enhance sustainability in cashew production. With the new processing plant, the company will generate jobs and income for thousands of people.”

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