​Nearly half of Nordic institutional investors now invest in impact

first_imgImpact investment is now a widespread strategy among institutional investors in the Nordic region, according to a new survey that shows 43% of the entities currently invest using this environmental, social and governance (ESG) approach.A study commissioned by NN Investment Partners (NN IP), which is part of the Dutch NN Group, and conducted by Copenhagen-based consultancy Kirstein among Nordic institutional investors also revealed that nine out of 10 investors were interested in impact investing, and 22% had plans to invest in impact strategies.However, NN IP also said allocations to impact investing – using capital to bring about positive changes rather than simply avoiding harm – were still limited to 5% of portfolios.Some 19% of respondents said they had no plans to invest in impact strategies and 16% were undecided, in the poll carried out between July and September last year. Edith Siermann, head of fixed income and responsible investing at NN IP, said: “Nordic institutions, especially those in Sweden, are leaders in the field of ESG integration, but investors across Europe and globally display a clear desire to improve.”She said impact investing was seen as an approach with “a wide range of untapped opportunities to create sustainable, long-term investments.”“There are hurdles to be overcome, including the limited size of the investable universe, fee models that are out of sync with the going rate for impact strategies and the complexity of allocating to SDGs,” she said.While the last decade had been about exclusion, Siermann predicted the focus in the next 10 years would be on how to measure and increase impact.Most respondents in the survey indicated that they expected impact strategies to either perform in line with markets, or to outperform – regardless of whether they were already investing.Of those institutional investors that already had money in impact investment, 75% said they expected returns to be in line with market performance, with 12% expecting limited or strong outperformance and 13% foreseeing limited underperformance from the strategy.Strangely, limited outperformance was the result expected by 43% of respondents that did not invest in impact strategies and had no plans to do so, with another 43% segment of this group expecting market-like performance.The report’s authors said it was interesting, and even counterintuitive, that 43% of those not expecting to invest still thought impact investing could lead to some outperformance.“The explanation for this could be that they are restricted in their investments, for example, by internal guidelines, which does not alter their perception of impact,” they wrote.The study took in quantitative data from 37 institutional investors based in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, constituting a representative sample of the full Nordic institutional market in terms of number, size and segment, NN IP said.Their combined assets were €925bn, about two thirds of total Nordic institutional assets, the firm said.last_img read more

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Stone eyes 500th win with MSU visiting

first_imgThe Wisconsin women’s basketball team heads into its Thursday night matchup against No. 11 Michigan State in a rare position. The Badgers are tied with Penn State for first place in the Big Ten and are half a game ahead of the Spartans (18-3, 6-2 Big Ten).The most recent occasion of the Badgers leading the Big Ten conference past the mid-point of the season was the 1994-1995 season when they were 8-3. This season Wisconsin sits at 7-2 in the Big Ten (12-9 overall) and Thursday night’s game will probably give a good indication of whether the Badgers will contend for the Big Ten Conference Championship as the regular season wraps up.The Badgers and the Spartans have already played each other once in East Lansing this season, and Michigan State definitely got the best of Wisconsin, winning 62-43. At the time, Wisconsin was not at full strength, with senior forward Lin Zastrow sidelined by injury.“This is one we need to get back,” assistant coach Oties Epps said. “Quite frankly we were a man down at Michigan State, and it was a game we let get away.”The players seem to feel like this game has a personal tone to it as well, and that they didn’t play up to their own standards in the last meeting.“We have a score to settle with them,” senior forward Tara Steinbauer says. “We went there and I think we showed our true colors for about ten minutes of that game and the other 30 didn’t even closely resemble what we are capable of.”One major obstacle in Wisconsin’s quest for victory is Michigan State senior forward Kalisha Keane. Keane paces the Spartans with 15.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. Although playing the forward position, Keane is also MSU’s top outside scoring presence. She has made 45 3-point field goals this season on 37.5 percent shooting.“She is their emotional leader,” Epps said. “She is a phenomenal talent, very versatile. She can pretty much play [four different positions] for them on the court, and she does more than just score the ball. She gets other people involved; she gets excited about every little thing that their team does and that resonates through their team.”While the Badgers won’t assign one specific player to guard the impressive Keane, the players still know they each will have responsibility in trying to slow her down.“It’s a team effort. We’re not going to put one person on her and say shut her down,” Steinbauer said. “[Defending her] is going to be more reliant on the pack defense and making sure we are all in position to help when she drives and when she shoots. She is going to get looks, it’s just a matter of making sure they are contested.”Stopping Keane will be a key to Wisconsin remaining undefeated at home during conference play. UW is currently 4-0 at the Kohl Center versus Big Ten opponents. For Wisconsin, the hope is that they can add a third conference road loss and fourth overall to Michigan State’s record. All of MSU’s prior losses have occurred on the road at the hands of No. 1 Baylor, Ohio State and the No. 20 Iowa Hawkeyes, in their most recent game.“[Michigan State] is a top team in the Big Ten, and we’re a top team right now, so it’s going to be a great battle,” Zastrow said. “When you are at home you have to feed off that energy, you have to be ready. It’s your home court; this is your comfort zone.”Two other important notes for Thursday night’s contest: Badgers’ head coach Lisa Stone is on the cusp of reaching a coaching milestone. Stone is currently just one win shy of the 500th win of her 26-year head coaching career. She has an all-time mark of 499-231 (.684) and is 124-113 in her eighth season coaching the Badgers.Thursday night is also UW Student Night. Students that show a valid student ID will get into the game for free and also be rewarded with a voucher for a free hot dog and a soda, while supplies last.First place, 500 wins and free food all up for grabs.last_img read more

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