Faced with the growing risk of climate change, our industry is betting on impact.
After a scientific course, I naturally headed for a master’s degree in Finance at La Sorbonne, a rational field for a lover of numbers.
If I first immersed myself in traditional finance, very early on I had the chance to take a path that was almost deserted at the time, that of responsible finance, where everything remained to be cleared. After 20 years in this universe, I remain not only passionate, but also convinced that this type of finance, responsible finance, is a necessity.
If today governments, regulations, consumers are interested in it, when I started, SRI was in its infancy, terra incognita. In 2010, I had the chance to become responsible for the SRI analysis of a French asset manager. In parallel with the financial analysis I was used to, I developed an expertise and an appetite for environmental, social and governance (ESG) subjects that put companies’ short-term financial results into perspective. These are not contradictory subjects. ESG analysis enriches financial analysis, ESG criteria are creators of value and great accelerators of business transformation. It is a formidable laboratory for evaluation and dialogue with companies on these issues.
This double financial and extra-financial analysis is even more relevant in our chaotic context. The responsible investor, because he thinks 360 degrees about the ecosystem that surrounds the company, benefits from a rich holistic view, which is extremely useful today. SRI is a factor in identifying good business models and allows better detection and management of risks. A company that masters the extra-financial risks it may face is more likely to be sustainable than one that ignores them.
In particular, companies have to deal with the rise of transition and physical risks linked to climate change, which have significant financial repercussions, resulting for example from the disruption of their supply chain. In April 2021, a drought in Taiwan thus put pressure on the very strategic semiconductor industry, whose production is very water-intensive, causing serious shifts in the order books that we still feel. Much of the work of analyzing ESG criteria is dedicated to understanding the risks that can lurk in supply chains.
From SRI analysis, I moved on to SRI and impact fund management. In 2020, I joined La Financière de l’Echiquier, a pioneer in listed impact investing in France, when designing a precursor impact fund dedicated to climate and biodiversity. I am thus totally in tune with my aspirations. My quest for financial return is reconciled with a quest for positive social and/or environmental impact and I benefit from LFDE’s internal research, a veritable gold mine of information.
While in my professional debut, we often opposed ESG and finance, this dual ESG and financial expertise is today a must have, in my eyes. We can no longer separate the two. It also makes it possible to restore the image of finance, often considered disconnected from reality and thus make it possible to reconcile it with the general public. I don’t know if finance will save the world, but by channeling the gigantic flows of capital to converge on the most responsible players in the economy, while managing the risks, impact finance can build a more resilient world. , more sustainable.
You see, there are pragmatic idealists in finance….
Disclaimer – The opinions expressed are those of the giant. They can in no way engage the responsibility of LFDE.