UBP’s commitment to sustainable wealth management for our clients led us to become a signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) in March 2012. Since then, the world of responsible investment has evolved substantially, as has our approach.
As part of our continued commitment to upholding the principles of the UNPRI, in 2018 we both expanded and enhanced our Responsible Investment Policy to provide a robust foundation across the full range of our products and mandates within the Bank.
The financial rationale is clear – that a comprehensive approach to ESG considerations can support both risk management and alpha-generation. However, we are also firmly of the view that finance has a key role to play in creating a sustainable economy.
In order to tackle the world’s biggest challenges; governments, the corporate world and the financial sector must work together and it is this aim which has led to our collaboration with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. In 2018, we became a member of their ‘Investment Leaders Group’, a select network of pension funds, insurers and asset managers committed to advancing the practise of responsible investment. UBP is also a member of Sustainable Finance Geneva and Swiss Sustainable Finance.
UBP’s ESG approach invokes the following four practices – screening, promotion, active ownership and thought leadership.
- Screening: A firm-wide Exclusion List encompasses a number of controversial business areas in which we feel it is inappropriate to invest, while a Watch List monitors companies flagged as embroiled in ESG controversies and thus of greater investment risk.
- Promotion: The curation of a Sustainability Champions List of companies identified as either contributing to solving the world’s societal and climate challenges or which are being innovative in their efforts to improve their ESG practices, which our investment centres are encouraged to consider in their investment decisions.
- Active Ownership: as part of our strategy to be active managers of capital, we engage with companies via a our partner to resolve address controversial practices while encouraging our investment centres to undertake bilateral engagement to support best practice, encourage disclosure and promote change where necessary. Our voting policy takes into account ESG matters.
- Thought Leadership: keeping pace with the change is not sufficient – we are committed to our role as responsible investors and aim to shape industry developments rather than follow them. We promote and participate in responsible investment within the investment community through our active involvement in the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s ‘Investment Leaders Group’.