impact investment

AIM Announces New Director of ESG Strategy & Policy

Alya Z. Kayal,   Director of ESG Strategy & Policy

Alya Z. Kayal, Director of ESG Strategy & Policy

We are delighted to announce that on February 28, 2017, Alya joined AIM as the new Director of ESG Strategy and Policy.  She brings more than 20 years of experience in sustainable and impact investment.  Alya is working with us to expand our outreach and relationships in North America, track emerging global sustainable investment themes that inform and impact investment decisions, and further strengthen our integration of ESG and sustainability factors into our investment decision-making process.

As Stuart Kinnersley, CEO of AIM, says, "We are delighted to the have someone of Alya’s extensive experience within leading organisations in sustainability and impact investments join the AIM Team, reinforcing our commitment to Sustainability Verification."

Before joining Affirmative Investment Management in February 2016, Alya was the Director of Policy and Programs at US SIF:  The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, the leading voice advancing sustainable, responsible and impact investing across all asset classes.  While there, she managed programs and advanced policy priorities on behalf of more than 300 investment professionals with more than $2 trillion in assets under management.  As part of the management team, Alya helped shape operational plans and strategic decision-making at US SIF.

In 2011, Alya was the Vice President for Sustainability Research at Calvert Investments, Inc., where she worked for almost 17 years.  Alya managed ESG research and analytics for more than 20 sustainable investment funds across asset classes at one of the largest family of sustainable, responsible and impact investment funds in the United States.  While there, she provided oversight for the implementation and management of ESG research for 4,000+ US, international and emerging market securities and on shareowner engagement.  

Alya has been a member of the Stakeholder Council of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and a member of the Investment Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy (ACIEP) where she promoted reforms of the US National Contact Point under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

Prior to her career at Calvert, Alya worked at the US Department of Labor on an international child labor report that identified countries and industries that used child labor in the export of manufactured products from industry or mining to the United States.

In 1992, Alya worked as an aide to the U.S. expert member of the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. While there, she drafted several human rights resolutions and assisted in the negotiations on complex political and human rights issues with representatives from various countries.

Alya earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Minnesota Law School and has been a member of the Bar of the District of Columbia, United States, since 2002.

AIM & Lombard Odier Investment Management Announce Partnership

Affirmative Investment Management and Lombard Odier Investment Managers announce partnership

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On 19th January, 2017, AIM and Lombard Odier IM announced a partnership and we are delighted to share the press release below:

Lombard Odier Investment Managers (‘Lombard Odier IM’) is partnering with Affirmative Investment Management (AIM), the fixed income manager dedicated to impact strategies, to supplement its existing impact investing capabilities and launch a new fund designed to help combat climate change in a verifiable way. 

Lombard Odier IM and AIM both have a strong heritage of sustainability and impact investing. With over 20 years of responsible investment expertise, Lombard Odier was one of the first institutions to include environmental and social criteria in its financial research, and to offer its clients investment solutions that fully integrate their values. 

AIM launched in 2014 as the first fixed income asset manager dedicated to offering strategies that target positive climate and social impact, while seeking to delivering mainstream bond-market risk and return. 

The impact of climate change is already being seen and the risks are escalating, affecting not only the world’s economic growth but also the lives of millions of people. We believe tackling climate change requires a significant shift towards a low-carbon economy and investment in climate change solutions. 

Carolina Minio-Paluello, Global Head of Sales and Solutions at Lombard Odier IM, comments: “Climate change is the challenge of our generation. There is a significant gap between the current level of investment into climate change solutions, estimated at USD 360 billion in the past year, and the USD700 billion required each year to meet the COP21 objective to limit climate change to two degrees1. A major shift in capital is required to tackle this funding gap, and our investors are keen to understand how they can be involved. We are extremely pleased to be partnering with the specialists at AIM and together with our own robust impact investing expertise, we are seeking to develop a compelling and competitive proposition for investors."

AIM has a highly experienced team of investment professionals, who are actively involved in the partnership with Lombard Odier IM, including Chairman Stephen Fitzgerald, formerly the CIO International Fixed Income at Goldman Sachs Asset Management and previously a member of the Board of Guardians for Australia’s Future Fund; CEO Stuart Kinnersley, who created the first dedicated Green Bond fund at Nikko AM in 2010; and Head of Sustainability Judith Moore, who originated the criteria for the creation of green bonds while Head of the World Bank’s Corporate Responsibility team. 

Stephen Fitzgerald, Co-Founder and Chairman of AIM said: “Responsible capitalism has often been perceived as coming at a cost; either lower returns or increased risk. Our approach seeks to combine mainstream portfolio management and impact, without compromising either. Our partnership with Lombard Odier is an exciting opportunity to finance positive solutions to global challenges.”

About Lombard Odier

Lombard Odier is a leading global wealth and asset manager focused on providing solutions to private and institutional clients. 

For 220 years, the firm has been solely dedicated to serving clients and forged a strong tradition of innovation in the way it advises clients, manages investment strategies and develops new technologies. 

With 223 billion Swiss francs of total client assets, per end-June 2016, Lombard Odier provides 360 degree wealth management services including among others succession planning, discretionary and advisory portfolio management and custody services. 

Lombard Odier Investment Managers (LOIM), the Group’s asset management unit, offers its clients a range of innovative solutions including risk-based asset allocation, thematic equity investments, convertible bonds as well as alternative strategies. 

One of the world’s best-capitalised banks, with a highly liquid balance sheet, Lombard Odier has grown stronger through more than 40 financial crises and stayed true to its primary vocation of preserving and growing clients’ wealth. 

As an independent business wholly owned by its Partners, stability is the watchword. The Partners are able to maintain a long-term vision and to develop mutual trust with their clients. 

Lombard Odier Group employs about 2,250 people. Headquartered in Geneva since 1796, the Group has 26 offices in 19 jurisdictions including London, Paris, Zurich, Moscow, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. 

About Affirmative Investment Management

Affirmative Investment Management Partners Limited (AIM) is the first dedicated green bond manager focusing solely on bond and cash investments that generate positive environmental & social externalities. It is an independent, owner managed Private Company established in 2014. 

AIM investments support the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Climate Change Paris Agreement (UN COP 21) and our approach is a fusion of mainstream portfolio management and sustainability principles. 

AIM’s approach is both unique and new but based on a foundation of experienced professionals, leading innovators and best in class industry support providers. Our co-founders have over 26 years of experience on average. 

AIM is comprised of a team of individuals who have been strong advocates and instrumental in the evolution of the green bond market. Creating the original green bond eligibility template, the world first green bond fund and the longest performance track record in the market place demonstrating no sacrifice to investment return. 

By creating a robust proprietary sustainability verification methodology based on high standards, AIM ensures high standards and integrity within our investment universe in a rapidly growing but still nascent asset class. Helping engender trust on which to build a solid foundation for future growth. 

Through creative innovation of product offerings, pro-active engagement and a pivotal position in the market place, AIM is able to drive and influence new initiatives which will result in a broader and growing Green bond market. AIM is the first fixed income manager to provide an Impact Report across all our portfolios.

AIM Wins Best Green Bond Team UK Award

AIM is delighted to be awarded the CFI.co Best Green Bond Team UK 2016 Award. The Judges' report is shared below.

Putting money to work for a better tomorrow, Affirmative Investment Management (AIM) Partners combines time-honoured portfolio management strategies and sustainability parameters to offer a range of advisory services and products that help provide solutions to global challenges. Incorporating ESG (environmental, social, and governance) considerations into the decision making process, without compromising more traditional yardsticks, allows AIM to give its clients a chance to increase the impact of their investments while generating mainstream returns.

Moving beyond the hype, AIM works proactively with bond issuers to ensure they adhere to strict ESG guidelines and employ the funds raised towards sustainable business practices. The firm is recognised as a pioneer in green bonds and has helped shape the market. Employing positive selection criteria, AIM staff boasts an exceptionally long track record in managing green bond portfolios.

AIM is a data-driven firm and, as such, continuously monitors the performance and impact of its investment portfolio. Its holistic approach enables the company to quickly adapt strategies to changing circumstances without compromising returns.

AIM focuses on fixed income instruments that are carefully tailored to individual investment profiles and risk tolerance. The firm offers a comprehensive product mix that stretches from low risk / high liquidity to funds and vehicles more suited to investors seeking high returns and willing to bear the attendant degree of risk. AIM also offers its clients access to one-off special opportunities that the firm unearths while investigating the broader market.

The CFI.co judging panel recognises the need for investment products tailored to dovetail with the world’s growing demand for sustainable corporate practices. As ESG values move from the esoteric to the mainstream and become embedded in corporate best practices, investors have followed suit, demanding their savings be employed in a way both meaningful and sustainable. By offering solidly designed products that meet these demands, Affirmative Investment Management is providing a sorely needed service to the investor community. The judges are pleased to offer the company their 2016 Best Green Bond Team United Kingdom Award.

AIM Becomes Climate Bonds Initiative Partner

AIM is pleased to announced that we have joined the Climate Bonds Partner Program, formalising our longstanding cooperation with Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) since 2010. The original Media announcement can be accessed here, but excerpts can be found below.

AIM are a leading exponent of disclosure and reporting by bond issuers and the provision of impact data on a portfolio basis. They pursue impact investing opportunities in fixed income with a strong ESG and sustainability base and have been at the forefront of international green bond development with both CBI and international financial institutions since 2010. The AIM team holds the longest track record in the market for managing a green bond fund against a mainstream benchmark stretching back over five years.

Stuart Kinnersley CEO AIM:

“AIM is delighted to become a Climate Bonds Partner. We look forward to working even more closely with CBI and other Partners to actively seek meaningful mobilisation of debt markets to help combat climate change.”

“Climate Bonds international advocacy for accelerated action around climate finance aligns well with our investment focus on building resilient communities and shifting to low carbon economies. We believe investing should have a positive environmental and/or social ambition, Climate Bonds is working to achieve this on a global basis, hence our longstanding support. Becoming a Partner formalises our existing cooperative relationship. “

Sean Kidney CEO Climate Bonds:

“The AIM approach of providing annual impact reporting, disclosure around use of proceeds and data provision on investment outputs and key results is an example of best practice amongst managers.”

“Similar principles around transparency and disclosure have been incorporated into Climate Bonds Standards. Improved reporting should become standard amongst market participants and increasingly embedded in green bond market frameworks.”

“AIM have been an influential supporter of green bond market development. They have led the way by integrating green bond strategies into a range of mainstream benchmarked portfolios.”

About Climate Bonds Initiative:  The Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) is an investor-focused not-for-profit, promoting large-scale investment in the low-carbon economy. For more information, please visit www.climatebonds.net

About Affirmative Investment Managers (AIM):   Based in London. AIM is the world’s first dedicated green and impact bond fund manager. 

Partners Program: NGOs, banks, institutional investors and governments are eligible to join as Climate Bond Partners  to help rapidly grow a market of green and climate bonds. Partners assist in developing initiatives to grow investment in climate solutions, participate in different market development committees & help define policy agendas for sector, country & sub-national programs.

A list of CBI Partners is available here.