Gilbert Van Hassel has been named Sustainable CEO of the Year at the Pan-European Global Invest Forum in Paris. He personally received the award on 11 October at the event, hosted by L’Agefi, France’s leading financial media group.
For Robeco, this award is a great honor and an exceptional recognition of its long-term commitment to sustainable investing. It is particularly significant for Robeco because the winner was chosen by L’Agefi’s readership from a list of highly recognized CEOs of major European asset management companies. “Sustainable investing is of strategic importance at Robeco. We started adopting it in the mid-90s and it has been at the core of our business since the mid-2000s,” says Van Hassel. Sustainability is treated like any other value driver in our investment process, for all our asset classes.
Today, the topic of sustainability arises within minutes of talking with clients. Sustainable investing is rapidly gaining traction and becoming mainstream. It is an irreversible trend that will only grow in importance. Van Hassel: “It is already clear that taking a sustainable approach does not detract from performance, and we believe that using financially material ESG information leads to better-informed investment decisions and benefits society.”
This was particularly evident during the discussions held with representatives from major pension funds, insurance providers and asset managers across Europe at the Global Invest Forum. Sustainable investing has been one of the main focuses of this year’s event, including the release of an ESG survey report on how European asset owners take into account ESG considerations in their investment management strategies.
Leaving aside the demands of sponsors, participants and regulators, investors are also increasingly seeking to improve the sustainability of their portfolios from a socioeconomic perspective to help tackle the many global challenges faced by our generation. Van Hassel: “At Robeco, we believe that all the stars are aligned for SI and that investment will become an industry that focuses not just on creating wealth but also on creating well-being. We are more committed than ever to contribute to that shift.”