Overnight Success after 25 years!

In March, I did an extensive road show in Asia, visiting Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok. It was quite intense. Some days I had nearly 8 meetings, but definitely worth it.

What struck me the most is that Asia has gotten the Values Investing bug, big time. Nearly all the presentations that I gave, and the people I met, and executive briefings I had, were not about why, but all about how. It seems a tipping point had been reached, at least by the people I was meeting. They all were curious as to why there was so much interest and what had happened to spark this interest. What were the drivers?

The presentations I made were about how Values (ESG and Impact) Investing had become mainstream and what has happened in the last 25 years to change the mindset of investors. The list below were very influential , as well as the efforts of many building the ecosystem of ESG and Impact, including TBLi.

25 year Milestones

  • Carbon Tracker
  • Freshfields I & II
  • UNPRI
  • Equator Principles-50m – 10m
  • Carbon Disclosure Project
  • Montreal Pledge

The Asians all felt that the Europeans were way ahead of the curve and very keen on Values Investing, from the beginning. I had to correct that perception. When TBLI started, there was little to no infrastructure to lay the ground work for ESG and Impact. The notion that the entire financial sector jumped up and gave TBLI a big hug, and embraced us, is a myth. It was a long hard slog.

I remember this experience vividly.

When I started (late 1990’s), I was invited to speak to the Dutch Insurance Association about Climate Risk and Sustainability. I started my talk explaining that a country below sea level should start to be concerned about the risks that rising sea levels would cause. The response from the large insurance Companies present was, “It’s not a problem for us if sea level rises, we don’t cover salt water damage.”. One could be come angry at the low level of understanding of that response, or translate in their language. I chose the later, by saying, “That is true, but you sell mortgages, and if 200.000 homes are submerged in water due to seal level rise, which become worthless, you have a big problem.”

Speaking in the language of the person who you are trying to convince has always been key to TBLI’s approach. The moral imperative doesn’t work unless you show the financial risk and opportunity. Don’t shout loudly in German to someone who speaks Chinese.

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

George Carlin

We are all an overnight success after 25 years

TBLI CONFERENCES 2019

Meet the thought leaders and Investors in Values Investing. Join us for one of our TBLI Conference. All Asian Events are free for Investment Decision Makers.  

Where have you been?

My apologies for such a long radio silence., TBLI has been on the road extensively this year, helping to build the infrastructure for TBLI (Triple Bottom Line Investing) in Asia. In addition, we have been expanding our outreach to Private Asset Owners (Single Family Offices, Multi Family Offices, and HNW). It has been quite a journey.

From January to May, I visited Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok, Dubai, Istanbul, Stockholm, Milan, Wiesbaden and then back to Shanghai. What was surprising was the hunger for information about ESG and Impact Investing. It was as if a paradigm shift had occurred among asset owners. They wanted to believe that Values Investing could work, but needed more convincing.  Most of the talk was dispelling the Myths that Impact was charity, money losing, philanthropy, no good management, etc. Those myths were easy to dispel. Almost as easy as dispelling the myths that all PE Funds and Hedge Funds achieve 30%+ year in year out. Or all fund managers always beat their benchmark.

Nearly all were keen to better understand what is Impact and how can they move large sums into investments that look at all risks and opportunities.

I always said TBLI was an overnight success after 20 years.

With that in mind, TBLI will be doing many more road shows, particularly in Asia to further help build the ESG and Impact eco system. If you would like to host a meeting with clients and staff, let us know and we will be happy to speak at your event.  Contact us 

Forbes Interview

Devin Thorpe of Forbes recently did an interview with me. Here it is. I hope you enjoy it.

TBLI CONFERENCE NORDIC 2018, Nasdaq, Stockholm Sweden Nov. 8-9

TBLI Conference Program is nearly finished. Hope you can join us. We anticipate a significantly larger turnout this year, from last year. The number of Early Bird Registrations is much higher. If you are planning on coming, the Early Bird Discount of SEK 2000, — ends May 31. So register soon. 

GDPR Private Policy

You’ve probably already seen quite a few emails about the GDPR. Europe’s landmark legislation on data protection.   We have updated our Privacy Policy  to comply with the new GDPR requirements. We kindly ask you to read them and get familiar with the updates.

TBLI Special Events

As part of our capacity building outreach on ESG and Impact Investing, TBLI will also be hosting small, intimate events as well as collaborating on larger events for Asset Owners. Asset Owners may attend all Conferences free of charge. Service providers may register to attend for a fee. Dinners and Retreats have a registration fee involved. If you would like to join one of these events, contact us.

Save the Dates:
• TBLI Inspiration Weekend Glen House Castle, near Edinburgh Sept. 21-24
• IMPACT INVESTING: EXPLORING THE PERSONAL JOURNEY  London, 18/9/2018, St. James Hotel Invitation only.
• TBLI Dinners Paris October 30.
• Family Office Event- San Francisco, 12-13th September 2018, The Cabernet Sauvignon Yacht, where 100+ N American Family Offices meet Invitation only.
• Family Office Event-London 9-10th October 2018, The Dorchester, where 140+ London based Family Offices gather Invitation only.
• Family Office Event-Zurich 13-14 November, 2018,  Dolder Grand Hotel, The meeting place for 100+ genuine* Family Offices from all over the world  Invitation only.
• Family Office Event-Dubai, 5-6 February, 2019, Palace Downtown Dubai Invitation only.
• Family Office Event-Singapore 5 – 6 March 2019 The Fullerton: The Asian Forum for 100+ genuine* Family Offices and UHNWI  Invitation only.

TBLI Goes on the Road to China

China Road Show

I will be doing a China Road show to speak about Value(s) Investing in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. Hope you can join us if you are in the area. Thank you to the organisers, particularly Peiyuan Guo of Syntao, for their kind invitation.

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.