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Tackling challenges and opportunities

The long-standing belief that sustainable investments are more resilient in times of crisis has proved to be true during the Covid-19 pandemic. In a world looking to emerge from the most devastating pandemic in a century, the case for building a better, more sustainable and resilient ‘normal’ is clearer than ever.

Preventing further pandemics by protecting wildlife and forests, for example, would cost just 2% of the estimated USD 11.5 trillion damage so far known to have been caused by Covid-19. Moreover, according to the World Economic Forum, actively tackling the global nature crisis could create 400 million jobs and USD 10 trillion in business value each year by 2030.

It is perhaps not surprising, then, that investors and banks’ clients are increasingly interested in having a positive impact on the environment and society through their investments. “For Julius Baer, it is at the core of our role in wealth management to provide clients with the right tools and advice so they can make educated choices”, says Yvonne Suter, Head Sustainability at the bank.

A comprehensive ecosystem

Yvonne and her team lead Julius Baer’s sustainability efforts and drive a sustainability strategy that echoes the bank’s purpose to create value beyond wealth. “We recognise the role that the finance industry needs to play in transitioning to a more sustainable world, and so our ambition is to empower our clients, employees and other stakeholders to create positive impact”, Yvonne adds.

In pursuing this goal, Julius Baer focuses on two of the most critical global challenges in transitioning towards a sustainable economy – addressing the overuse of natural resources, and addressing the underuse of human resources.

Julius Baer’s approach to responsible wealth management encompasses responsible investing, sustainable investing, impact investing and philanthropy services. To accompany clients on their sustainability journey, the bank has developed a comprehensive ecosystem that goes beyond financial products and incorporates transparent reporting, as well as access to thought leadership and networking opportunities among clients.

Impact investing as a growing trend

Within responsible wealth management, the fastest-growing approach is impact investing. Impact investing goes beyond considering ESG factors and intentionally seeks to generate both a financial return and have a measurable positive impact on society or the environment. Impact investing is not an asset class, nor is it tied to any particular asset class.

As Yalis Torretta, impact investing specialist at Julius Baer, explains: “Impact investing offers a broad array of possibilities, which not only are socially or environmentally beneficial but also financially rewarding”. Many impact investments today no longer imply concessionary returns but strive to achieve financial returns that match those of traditional investments.

Julius Baer offers access to a wide range of different impact investing products, in-house expertise, and various levels of service depending on our clients’ needs and preferences. They can select their own preferred investment solutions through an open architecture platform, partner with expert advisors to co-create a portfolio that aligns with their financial goals and personal purpose, or delegate this to a team of portfolio managers.

The number and scope of impact investments available, including for external asset managers, is steadily increasing. Options that have recently become available include funds that seek to drive forward solutions for improving ocean health, or towards more sustainable and innovative food and agriculture. Other impact investments can be in areas as diverse as public health, financial inclusion, or novel climate technologies.

To get involved and learn more about Julius Baer’s impact investing offering, please reach out to your relationship manager, who will be happy to guide you.

Key takeaways

  • Investors are increasingly interested in having a positive impact on the environment and society.
  • Many impact investments strive to achieve financial returns that match those of traditional investments.
  • The number and scope of impact investments available, including for external asset managers, is steadily increasing.

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