Climate Transition powers Real Asset Performance
A few days ago, I met Mark Meiklejon from Aviva Investors, London, at the Limmat in front of the «Hotel Storchen». Mark is an outstanding specialist in the asset class of real assets. After talking to him for about 30 minutes, I knew a lot more about this investment universe, which is both complex and exciting. Aviva is a big player in the market, which makes their products and climate objectives particularly interesting. Thomas J. Caduff, CEO, Fundplat LLC
• Caduff: Mr. Meiklejon: What exactly are real assets?
Meiklejon: Real Assets are a subset of Private Markets, and include direct real estate, direct infrastructure, natural capital (forrestry, etc), commodities and any associated private debt lending in these asset classes. These asset classes are physical tangible assets which investors can access either directly or through debt investments for non listed exposure.
• Caduff: What role does the «Climate Transition» play in this?
Meiklejon: The Climate Transition is inextricably interlinked with Real Assets as these asset classes are the most directly linked to climate change. Infrastructure is powering a global transition towards renewable energy away from a carbon power generated network, and social transition technologies such as fibre & EV charging are also accelerating the move towards longer term sustainable renewable power. Real Estate is one of the most significant sectors emitting carbon dioxide globally so the ability to reduce carbon emissions in real estate is critical in meeting any net zero targets. This is through refurbishing old real estate stock, but also ensuring that nay new development is undertaken in the most sustainable way possible. Natural Capital assets are the most efficient way to create new carbon credits through planting additional forestry reclaiming degraded peatland and various other new technologies in producing positive carbon credits to offset residual carbon.
• Caduff: What investment solutions does Aviva Investors offer for this purpose?
Meiklejon: Aviva Investors has an ambitious target to be Net Zero by 2040, and all of our Real Asset products are aligned to the climate transiton or ESG targets in some way. We have developed multi-asset solutions which combine the merits of each of the Real Asset asset classes to target financial return objectives without sacrificing returns for our clients but also alongside stringent Net Zero and other ESG goals. We believe that striving to invest in the most sustainbale way possible will also drive longer term outperformance for our clients.
Mark Meiklejon leads our Real Assets Investment Specialist team globally, who bridge and coordinate between the Real Estate, Infrastructure, Private Debt & Natural Capital investment teams and Aviva Investors global sales, marketing and client relationship management teams. This team are also responsible for commercialising relationships with specialist global Real Asset investors, and for supporting distribution across all of our investment capability. The team are also responsible for developing new Real Asset strategies and solutions with our investment & distribution teams, as well as ensuring our existing funds and products are fit for purpose and best in class. He is a member of the Senior Leadership Executive for Real Assets & is a member of the Global Investment Committee. Mark has more than 24 years investment experience, and joined Aviva Investors in 2018. He began his career with as an equity analyst & portfolio manager with Blairlogie and then Britannic Asset Management, before joining Standard Life Investments in 2003 as part of the Real Estate Research & Strategy team with a focus on new product launches & client strategy. Mark Meiklejon held various positions as a Client Director & Investment Director before heading the Real Estate Specialist team from 2013 & latterly heading a coordinated specialist team across Private Markets. He holds a BA(Hons) in Accountancy in Finance, a Masters in Finance, is an associate of UKSIP (ASIP) as well as an IPF Diploma in Real Estate Investment & Finance.
Thomas J. Caduff is the CEO of Fundplat LLC. He has worked in the financial industry for over 40 years. His professional experience includes roles at the stock exchange commissariat of the Canton of Zurich, Bank Vontobel, Credit Suisse and UBS. Thomas J. Caduff also served for three decades in one division and multiple brigades of the Swiss Army as a communication/media officer.