The birth of a new era

When I started TBLI, 20 years ago, social media did not exist and thought leaders or influencers working to create a values based investing industry,  were few and far between. There was no CDP, no PRI, no Montreal Pledge, no ESG or Impact Investing community (GIIN, AVPN, EVPA, Eurosif, etc.).

The marketing people took over the field thinking that SRI/ESG etc would be a way to get more money to manage. They failed as the placement of SRI funds was not a successful event, initially. What became successful was the realisation that Social, Environmental and Governance factors would be come pervasive and will slowly make their way into the mainstream language. The battle is now for the value of that language: will it weaken in an Orwellian newspeak or will the ideas and the words take over.

I believe that ESG and Impact or what I like to call Value(s) Investing will become all pervasive, and TBLI through all its efforts was instrumental in achieving that. I believe it will provide investors what they all ultimately want; Investments that look at all risk factors, social, environmental, governance and financial, leading to Market Rate Return with a Social and Environmental added value. 

Accelerating Value(s) Investing

TBLI will be celebrating its 20th anniversary, in Stockholm at Nasdaq, Sept. 28-29.  Moving forward, TBLI will be transitioning to TBLI 2.0.- Accelerating ESG and Impact Investing strategies and money flows by asset owners and managers. We have been working on that and have some exciting new initiatives that.

Come join us for the next Chapter.

Batman Returns

To stay focussed on the job at hand, important to laugh, be authentic, and committed. Watching Larry David helps.

Overnight success after 20 years

I was reflecting on the upcoming TBLI Conference Nordic 2017, and realised that this will be our 20th Anniversary. I couldn’t believe it. Had it been 20 years since we started TBLI, educating asset owner and managers about ESG and Impact Investing? Time really flew. I started to think of what had been accomplished. That was an even bigger eye opener.

This reflection coincided with a road show that I was planning for Copenhagen, so I decided to host a small seminar in Copenhagen at Rainmaking Loft, to discuss 20 years TBLI and what had been accomplished. In preparing, for this seminar, I reflected on what were the major breakthroughs that created the eco-system that we have now and what role did TBLI play in that. It was a great exercise as I forgot how TBLI influenced several important ESG and Impact breakthroughs. In addition,  those attending the seminar enjoyed thoroughly the 3 hour talk. The interaction with the audience was what I really enjoyed. I will definitely use part of that presentation for my opening talk at TBLI Nordic 2017 in Stockholm, Sept 28-29th, as Nasdaq.

We often forget what has worked and the progress we have made. `it. is important to avoid only listening  to headlines of a non-empathetic super power, or out of control climate change. Those stories are true and disturbing, but let’s not forget where we started from 20 years ago, and where are we now. I remember speaking to corporate groups, 20 years ago, who were afraid to hear the TBLI  story or even touch any publication dealing with ESG or Impact. Now everyone wants to join or be part of the ESG/Impact Fitness Club. That is wonderful. Now if we could only get those to actually do the exercises and reveal how much weight they lost.

I guess we are all an overnight success after 20 years. Come join us to celebrate.

Convincing Trump about Impact Investing

I love irresponsible investors and criminals. Not real irresponsible investors and criminals, I mean those that are totally against ESG and Impact Investing. Those that have a clear idea why ESG is a terrible idea and it is a complete waste of time and will always fail. Why do I like this group, because they are the easiest to convince about Sustainable Investing and achieve behavioural change. Remember the financial sector is the most predictable group you will eve encounter.

Recently I was at a conference on ESG investing with mostly mainstream financial alpha males, all totally convinced that they had all the answers. A significant part of the Conference was dedicated to ESG and ESG analysis. At the end of the first day, there was a very nice dinner. Everybody rushed to sit themselves next to the best potential client. I walked slowly and ended up at a big empty table with two men and many empty seats. Next to me was a German, hard core, anti climate change, and sustainable investment. He was very aggressive and didn’t want to be confused with facts or fake news. I thought I was sitting next to Donald Trump, but I wasn’t. My neighbour was actually more educated.  The other dinner guest was an ESG fund manager and a big fan of ESG integration and investment.

Did you ever talk to someone who contradicted and denied whatever you said. If I said, it was raining, he said no it isn’t. It’s cold. No its not. Renewable Energy is terrible. Money wasted. Extra financial investing is stupid. Etc. My German challenge had a family office and managed his own money, and according to him, he didn’t do so well, as he often missed his bench mark. After 1.5 hours of listening to his tirades, fake news, silly remarks and unwillingness to keep an open mind, I used the fool proof convincing method.

I said “Remember this day. March 16th. It might take one hour, one day, one week, one month, 1 year or 2 years or 3 years, but you will ultimately adopt ESG and Impact as a way of managing your money, and you will remember this day and me.” Then I turned to my ESG fund mangers and said to my Trump Surrogate that his firm manages Euros 200 billion, and he has beat his bench mark, regularly,  for his clients using an integrated ESG methodology”. My ESG skeptic looked shocked and his facial colours changed, a small smile forced its way out of his vault like face and asked “could I have your card so we might speak about your ESG services”.

Don’t you love financial alpha males who hate ESG and Impact. I do.

Impact Investing Myanmar

My wife, Dr. Rieki Crins started The Learning Exchange Foundation (LEF). After successfully creating a vocational hotel school in Bhutan, she has been asked, by the Governor, to set up a hotel school for Karen refugee youth in Myawaddy, Karen State, Myanmar.

As you all know, until 2012, there was a bloody civil war in Burma and the ethnic minorities where became victims of this war. For example, the Karen people had to flee to refugee camps. Now there are several of these camps along the Thai border. These camps have been here for 60 years  and  there are more than 100.000 people living in these camp, with  50% under the age of 25. These young people receive education from various NGO’s but the education, and thus diploma, are not recognized by Myanmar and Thailand. These kids are stuck!

Tourism is booming in Myanmar and there is a huge demand for skilled hotel people. Her hybrid hotelschool ( hotel and school) is ideally placed to address the challenges and needs of the Karen people living in these refugee camps.

Please support this important initiative that is working to create a livelihood for 100.000 refugees stuck in these camps .

Karen Hotel Project needs to raise US $ 100.000. 

If you would like to have more information, please contact rieki

Thank you.

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It’s a Wonderful Life.

We all feel that we are failures, at sometime in our lives. Things don’t work out, ideas or projects seem to fail in our eyes, or they take a lifetime to come to fruition. During that dark, seemingly hopeless period, it is imperative to keep the faith, eyes on the ball and keep tilling the soil. Shoots ultimately will come out.

Recently, my wife, Rieki,  experienced the ultimate Frank Capra “It’s a wonderful life” moment. My wife started a Hotel School in Bhutan, called the Bongde Institute for Hospitality and Tourism about 2 years ago.  She struggled continuously trying to get the school off the ground in a frontier market, with no funding, no infrastructure, no income, with continuous challenges and obstacles that she needed to overcome. Recently, she finally saw what she had created and what Jimmy Stewart felt like in It’s a Wonderful Life (Experiencing what would have happen if we didn’t exist).

To reward one of her best students, Kinley, Rieki decided to bring her to Amsterdam for an internship at a four star hotel in Amsterdam. This was the first time that Kinley was ever outstide of Bhutan. Kinley started working at the hotel and her work was exceptional. So exceptional, that one day a gentleman who was having a meal there, called her over and inquired about her background. He said “why is it that you are so good at your work in comparison with the rest of the food and beverage staff”. She said “I studied at the Bongde Institute of Hospitality and Tourism in Bhutan”. He said “WHAT. I want to meet the person who started that school”. A hotel school that trained its staff well and was based in Bhutan was quite a shock. It turns out that this man was a very successful hotelier, entrepreneur and had a large enterprise owning and operating 5 star hotels in Asia.

Rieki and the Hotelier met and he was overwhelmed by what Rieki had done and was planning to do next. He offered to take interns from her school, send equipment if needed, and wants to discuss collaboration on her hotel school in Bhutan, and potential hotel development in Bhutan. In addition, he was particularly interested in her next project. Building a working hotel school for the Governor of the Karen State in Myanmar to help the 100.000 refugees, and developing a culturally authentic and carbon neutral hospitality sector.

We are all an overnight success when we least expect it. Congrats Rieki and your Learning Exchange Foundation.

Sweden sets goal to phase out greenhouse gas emissions by 2045

Stockholm is the setting for our next TBLI CONFERENCE NORDIC 2017, Sept. 28-29. Come join us.

Support TBLI Foundation in building a Global Value(s) based Investment Community.