Sustainable Investing

Asset 4@4x

Our Belief

Authentic ESG integration helps us to make better investment decisions for our clients. We believe that by assessing our asset managers’ ESG integration approaches, engaging with them to improve their practices and by the deployment of capital into impactful opportunities, we can help to generate better long-term investment outcomes for our clients and have a positive impact on society and the environment.

What is ESG?

To fully understand the issues at hand and discuss the state of ESG in today’s world, we must take a step back and start with the basics. Let’s start with the simple question: ‘What is ESG?’ ESG refers to Environmental, Social and Governance factors, which is then abbreviated as ‘ESG’. The term, however, comprises more than just three loosely defined themes. ESG is much more granular than these three themes –  there is a multitude of “sub-themes” underneath each of the environmental, social and governance concepts, as shown in the categories here. This list is by no means exhaustive but it includes, in our view, the most referenced and essential ESG issues.

Sustainable Investing Policy

Partners Capital Sustainable Investing Policy is closely linked to our own core beliefs, which we set out in our Sustainability Charter. These beliefs guide us in our mission to deliver the best long-term investment outcomes for our clients. 

We aim to deliver impact through generating financial outperformance for our clients, whilst embedding sound sustainability risk management practices into our investment management process. We do this by encouraging adoption of best practice ESG integration in financial markets through our relationships with our managers, and through the allocation of capital to those companies and sectors contributing to sustainability trends.

Our Policy includes five pillars:

We assess the ESG integration and stewardship approaches of the asset managers with whom we partner through our ongoing communications and monitoring which is augmented by our annual Asset Manager Survey.

 

We seek to constructively engage with our asset managers to ensure they are deploying best practice integration and stewardship approaches.

 

We seek to generate additional returns and impact by allocating capital to those managers who have gained investment insights through integrating material ESG considerations and through allocating to companies and sectors who are contributing to and benefiting from sustainability trends.

 

We prefer engagement over exclusions with a belief that seeking to change behaviour is a more powerful means to have impact than exclusions. 

We collaborate with our clients, asset managers and leading capital owning institutions to support the acceptance and implementation of sustainable investing practices across the financial services industry. 

 

Team

Michael Viehs

The Sustainable Investing team, led by Dr. Michael Viehs, Global Head of Sustainable Investing, is responsible for developing and implementing Partners Capital’s approach to sustainable investing.

Currently, the team consists of five members who have a background in investing, research, client relationship management, ESG and sustainable investing.

Partners Capital Sustainability Beliefs

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Sustainability starts with the principles we embrace in managing our own firm
  1. Operational carbon net neutrality commitment in 2022
  2. Commitment to reduce travel, efficient energy usage and recycling
  3. Charitable giving and volunteering programme for environmental and social causes
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Inclusive workplaces with diverse teams and perspectives make better decisions
  1. CEO Pledge signatory since 2020 to further advance diversity, equity and inclusion
  2. Key Initiatives include: 1) educating employees to build an inclusive workplace; 2) engagement with third-party networks to diversify workforce
  3. Focused effort to source diverse asset managers
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Influence on asset managers behaviour represents our largest, leveraged impact
  1. Asset managers with whom we partner manage over $2T in assets, 40x the capital we oversee. Our beliefs are amplified through our partners
  2. Working with these asset managers to implement best practice ESG integration processes can create real impact on our society and environment
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Helping our clients implement targeted, bespoke responsible investment policies
  1. Identify sectors, managers and companies capable of generating measurable impact
  2. Raised a dedicated vehicle to invest in private equity opportunities focusing on proven technological innovations and long-established businesses which are most critical to the global energy transition to net zero carbon emissions
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ESG and Impact Measurement is the key to a virtuous circle of adoption
  1. Built proprietary ESG and Impact measurement dashboard, which has evolved with more sophisticated measurement techniques.
  2. Publish ESG and Impact annual report
  3. Engage with asset managers to encourage greater transparency and consistency in ESG data
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Collaboration with like-minded investors has the potential to catalyse change

Partners Capital is the nexus of a powerful ecosystem where advocacy for sustainability can drive meaningful change:

Clients: prestigious charitable educational institutions and influential philanthropic families

Shareholders: Sir Ronald Cohen offers us leading guidance on our sustainability and impact strategies

Asset Managers: partner with premier investment managers

Collaboration Groups: Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change and United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment.

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Partners Capital’s Dual Role in Sustainable Investing

Engagement with Asset Managers and how they are assessed
  • We engage with our asset managers to assess and improve their ESG integration, stewardship, and DEI approaches. The integration of financially material ESG factors alongside traditional fundamental analysis provides asset managers with a more comprehensive assessment of an investee.
  • In 2022, Partners Capital sent its proprietary ESG asset manager survey to 163 managers across all asset classes.
Deployment of ESG and Impact Investment Strategy
  • Where our clients have specific sustainability preferences, we support them in drafting of responsible investment policies and provide them with reporting to monitor compliance. Partners Capital can also source dedicated ESG and impact strategies for these client portfolios. 
  • In 2022, Partners Capital closed its inaugural environmental impact Private Equity Fund with $143M of client commitments.

Case Studies

Assisting a prominent UK health foundation manage a dedicated impact portfolio
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Engaging with a long-only global equity manager to launch an ex-tobacco fund
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