«We focus on developing investment strategies that best deliver on the dual objective of risk adjusted returns and sustainability»
Ms. Wallace, you have a responsible job at one of the world’s leading asset managers. How can one imagine a working week for you?
Our job is to accompany clients on their sustainable investment journey. Many of our clients have committed to Net Zero and we can help them thanks to the range of asset classes offered by our affiliates. Most of our days are driven by this objective. A typical week includes working on initiatives such as a due diligence of the offering of data providers, scanning the market for innovative data and analytics for example to help portfolio managers assess physical risks in their portfolios. We will also work with a portfolio management team crafting a new sustainable fund to invest in private credit or real estate. And then brainstorming with our reporting team to support the design of new ESG and impact reports. Later in the week, we will be talking to a top academic research organization to prepare the next steps of training for our investment and sales teams. I will have a working session with the CFA Institute’s ESG technical committee as we finalize the companion document to the Global ESG Disclosure Standard. Then I will be finalizing the writing of the top 10 sustainable investment surprises for 2022.
How can ESG be brought into a common line in a company that has offices around the globe?
Having a common message on what ESG integration is, I think, is the wrong kind of debate.
ESG integration for risk-adjusted returns is now mainstream. It is part of our fiduciary duty as an active investment manager to incorporate ESG considerations in your everyday investment processes.
Natixis IM is a reflection of the real economy. Impact investing is unfortunately a niche, and where we have the potential to contribute to changing the world.
However, the economy overall is not there yet. Carbon emission increased 6 percent in 2021 compared to 2020. Obviously, we need to do better when allocating capital to transition to a low carbon economy.
We need to get back to what clients need and what’s necessary for the economy to transition to a more sustainable model for people and the planet. Once we have identified the challenges, we can find solutions and Natixis IM offers a range of responsible, sustainable and impact strategies across asset classes.
As importantly, engagement and active ownership is a basic requirement from the perspective of a fiduciary responsibility - understanding that some ESG factors could impact the performance of the company and that it’s your duty as an investor to actively engage with companies‘ management and boards. It is also how we can effect change and insure that portfolio companies are best positioned and a change makers and not change takers.
What further steps in terms of ESG do you want to achieve in 2022?
We want to reach 50 percent of AUM managed with a sustainable or impact objective. To achieve this, we will focus on developing investment strategies that best deliver on the dual objective of risk adjusted returns and sustainability, in private credit and private equity, infrastructure and listed securities. We are looking to deploy a reporting platform to best support our clients‘ need for transparency and disclosure. All of this as we continue to expand analytics and training across investment and support teams.
On Wednesday, 26.01.2022, Natixis will host a virtual event with you and other speakers entitled «ESG Outlook 2022». What can be expected from it?
We will take a deep dive into some of the trends shaping the green and sustainable bond markets as well as provide a good perspective on the challenges and opportunities for investors to allocated capital to this rapidly growing asset class.
And who can register for it and how?
Professional Investors are welcome to register via this link and join the virtual ESG Outlook on the 26th January at 3:00pm CET/Zurich time.
Link to disclaimer
Nathalie Wallace is Global Head Sustainable Investment at Natixis Investment Advisors. In this role, she drives the firm’s sustainable investment strategy across its distribution network, its affiliated investment managers and as part of industry-wide initiatives. She will play an instrumental part in strengthening the firm’s sustainable investment capabilities and developing its range of innovative sustainable solutions while supporting collaborative approaches to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable global economy. Nathalie Wallace serves on Natixis Investment Managers’ Investment and International Executive Committees.
She is a long-time advocate for sustainable economic development and finance, having served as Head of Strategy and Development at Mirova, Global Head of ESG Investment Strategy at State Street Global Advisors, and while at Ceres advancing collaborative engagement on climate related risks such as Climate Action 100+ and the Investor Initiative for Sustainable Forests. Nathalie Wallace earned her bachelor’s degree at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion Business School in Paris, France and is a Certified International Investment Analyst (CIIA). She served as French Foreign Trade Advisor from 2014 to 2020 and is a member of the CFA Institute’s ESG Technical Committee.