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CIO Roundtable: Sustainable Investments

Chief Investment Officer

Managing Director Tom Mitchell participated in a CIO Roundtable alongside other investment industry executives to discuss the challenges, product gaps and innovative strategies for scaling sustainable developments. The widespread adoption and increased appetite for ESG at the institutional level has resulted in heightened considerations and challenges to address around how the market can truly scale sustainable investing. Highlights of Mitchell’s commentary in this Q&A feature include:

  • “Deep exploration of the sustainability of our environment, society, enterprises, and institutions is a holistic approach to diligence and long-term investing. For example, there are four trends that will have significant influence on the world and portfolios: climate change, growth of global population, the expansion of innovation, and changing environmental global policies. We study these trends to understand how they shape risks and reward in resource efficiency, global industry and services, human behavior, and ultimately, capital markets.”
  • “We seek to understand how [managers] consider ESG and impact factors in their investment process and reporting. We work with clients to develop expectations around non-financial factors, and evaluate performance against those expectations over the duration of an investment.”
  • Regarding the influx of capital into a sustainable market, “investors should learn from the past, while seeking the sources of future value and where capital is needed, rather than saturated.”

He adds that asset owners can better collaborate to promote the availability of sustainable investing through information sharing on information and insights; collaboration that promotes more alignment and favorable terms for others; and direct communication with managers and advisers to address sustainability and impact factors in their respective practices and processes.

Read the full Q&A with CIO‘s Amrita Sareen-Tak; Surdna Foundation’s Shuaib Siddiqui; Minnesota Council on Foundations’ Susan Hammel; Rhode Island State Treasury’s Seth Magaziner; and Ford Foundation’s Xavier Briggs online here.