Danish pension fund LD Pension (LD Fonde) said a collaboration with Copenhagen Business School (CBS) has not just helped educate students but also produced benefits for the fund’s responsible investment work.

The Frederiksberg-based manager of two atypical pension funds said that last autumn it had presented students at CBS with current challenges related to its responsible investment work.

Two teams on CBS’s ‘Minor in Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG)’ programme took up the challenge, LD Fonde said, and gave their answers to the problems in two exam papers just before Christmas – which have just been evaluated.

Amir Hassan, ESG analyst at LD Pensions, who guided the two student groups, said the process had been an asset for the pensions institution – which runs the Holiday Allowance Fund (Lønmodtagernes Feriemidler) and the Cost-of-Living Allowance Fund (Lønmodtagernes Dyrtidsmidler).

“Getting students’ views on the dilemmas and challenges we face in our daily work has proven to be of great value,” he said.

LD Pensions and students

From left: Anders Ulrich Nilsson (portfolio manager at LD Fonde), Amir Hassan (ESG analyst at LD Fonde), with CBS students Simon Holm Larsen, Carl Bjerregaard, Rikke Damgaard and Victoria Mærsk Mc-Kinney Holdt Olufsen

“It actually sheds more light for us on current issues. It brings new ideas into play and helps to keep us updated in the work with responsible investments,” said Hassan, at the DKK47bn (€6.3bn) pension fund manager.

One question posed by LD Pensions was how institutional investors could promote ESG expertise on the boards of listed companies to make them better equipped to drive a green transition within the business.

The students then developed a tool that could map a board’s green-shift skills, illustrating it in relation to some Danish banks, and recommended LD Pensions use it to evaluate potential board members – to put pressure on boards to increase their ESG knowledge.

The second exam question was around how institutional investors defined and interpreted sustainable investments, and how they related to investments in nuclear power, natural gas and arms manufacturers.

Students tackled this by mapping the external communication of selected Danish institutional investors and produced recommendations on how LD Pensions should navigate the complex landscape of sustainable investments, the pension fund said.

LD Pensions said it now wanted to do more work on the ideas it had received, and to include this in its ongoing ESG strategy and policy development activity.

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