22 October 2019
By Diana Buraka
Philipp Hildebrand, Vice Chairman of BlackRock, spoke at the Swiss Embassy in London. His speech ‘Value and Value’ accentuated the importance of “sustainable investing” being a catalyst for change.
Hildebrand emphasised an indisputably rising demand for companies which aspire to capture opportunities and mitigate risks associated with the transition from a carbon-based economy. He reminded the audience, that just a decade ago, investors would simply have smirked at the idea of asset allocation primarily targeting social or environmental outcomes. Such a cynical attitude wasn’t entirely unreasonable, because even until recently, sustainably meant trading returns for values. Times have changed, and responsible investment is becoming an advantage rather than an obstacle.
Today, we already see the clear trend of many European asset owners asking for detailed information on how managers incorporate ESG guidelines into their investment strategy. Hildebrand is predicting that Millennials, who will be allocating their wealth over the next 15 years, will increasingly target companies with smaller carbon footprints. Hildebrand foresees that the focus of future investors will be on positive social and environmental outcomes, which will be the catalyst for change.