Morningstar Awards: Impax on Its ESG Win

VIDEO: Impax has won the award for best asset manager, sustainable investing in the Morningstar Awards for Investing Excellence 2022

Ronald van Genderen 30 March, 2022 | 11:21AM
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Ronald van Genderen: Welcome to the Morningstar Awards for Investing Excellence 2022. I'm Ronald van Genderen, and with me today is Bruce Jenkyn-Jones, CIO of Impax Asset Management.

Hello and welcome. Congratulations on winning our Morningstar Asset Manager Sustainable Investing Award, a testimony to your commitment and success in sustainable investing.

Bruce, can you explain why is sustainable investing so important within Impax and what have been the key drivers of your success in this space?

Bruce Jenkyn-Jones: Well, thank you Ronald, and very nice to be here and thank you so much for the award. In terms of Impax, its history and interest in the space, the transition to a more sustainable economy is the Impax's mission statement and underpins our mission and really, our investment edge that drives outperformance. And I think that's really the key thing is that sustainability for us, it gives us our edge to be able to outperform. And we do this in a number of ways – by, first of all, identifying the right areas of the economy that we think are well-positioned as the economy moves towards sustainability and avoiding risks, crucial to integrate environmental, social and governance risks into our stock analysis and then also engaging with the companies in our portfolio. So, I think, really having sustainability at the heart of our investment is absolutely key to driving our business.

RVG: Right. And since the company's foundation in 1998, what have been the major hurdles that you found on your way?

BJJ: Well, as you can imagine, over 20 years, we've had a number of challenges. I think probably volatility of performance has been one. Certainly, perception of giving up on returns in the sustainability space was something that was a challenge at certain points. I think lack of understanding that there is an investment age of really understanding sustainability and the transition in that direction. I think confusion of terminology in the space has also been a challenge. And perhaps also lack of scale. Impax started at a very small point, and it took a while for us to get to a certain level. So, in terms of how we've reacted to each of those challenges, I guess probably the single most important is a strong investment process, something that is continually being enhanced, but is also very consistent in the way that we invest in products, develop portfolios and run our portfolios. Communication is crucial, but also a strong culture in ensuring that we have a team that is really aligned with Impax's mission of investing in the transition to a more sustainable economy, but at the same time challenging all the time where the world is going, how our investment process works and really always seeking to do better for our clients.

RVG: Right. And then, looking ahead, what will be the next steps do you expect in your ESG journey?

BJJ: Well, to be honest, I think it's more of the same – really looking to build on our track record, continue to focus on the transition to a more sustainable economy, both in our thematic products, but also, broader sustainability. But at the same time, continuing to think about other issues that will affect investments and how the world develops, things like climate change adaptation, biodiversity, human capital and ED&I, these are all issues that are growing in importance, and we need to build those into our existing products. But at the same time, the interesting possibilities at launch for new products, we will consider two or three new products in the next five years. But really, the core of what we're looking to do in the next five years is just build on the track record we've built with a very strong investment performance as we move hopefully – as we transition to a more sustainable economy.

RVG: Okay. Thank you for your time, Bruce, and once again, congratulations on winning this Morningstar award. From Morningstar, thank you for watching.

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Ronald van Genderen  is a fund analyst for Morningstar Netherlands