A group of leading global institutional investors, led by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers’), in collaboration with the Government of Canada, are proud to announce an ambitious project to advance key G7 objectives. Partner institutions AIMCo, Allianz, Aviva, CalPERS, CDPQ, Generali, Natixis Investment Managers, OMERS, Ontario Teachers’, OPTrust and PGGM – together representing more than $6 trillion in assets under management – have joined together and pledged to commit resources, expertise and networks to further three initiatives:
- Enhancing expertise in infrastructure financing and development in emerging and frontier economies;
- Opening opportunities for women in finance and investment worldwide; and
- Speeding up the implementation of uniform andcomparable climate-related disclosures under the FSB-TCFD Framework.
“Climate change, gender inequality and the infrastructure gap are all significant global problems that need collective action and robust, practical solutions. Institutional investors have the resources and the platform to make meaningful contributions in all of these areas. We are pleased that our initiatives align with this year’s G7 themes, while also providing tangible benefits for investors and their members,” said Ron Mock, President and CEO of Ontario Teachers’.
“As long-term investors, we know that our returns are affected by the health and strength of countries where we invest. In many ways, our performance is tied to their growth and development. What we’re announcing today is a way to demonstrate the potential of collaboration. By working together as a group of funds in three specific areas, we seek to have greater impact and a more lasting effect,” said Michael Sabia, President and CEO of CDPQ.
Building bridges: increasing infrastructure expertise in emerging and frontier markets
The world needs to invest $3.3 trillion in infrastructure annually through 2030 to keep pace with projected growth. This infrastructure gap is particularly critical in emerging markets often because of the lack of investable projects and the necessary financial and operating expertise.
To tackle this problem, partner institutions will launch an infrastructure fellowship program for senior public-sector infrastructure managers in emerging and frontier markets. The fellowship will include a 3-month intensive business school program as well as an internship in the infrastructure teams of some of the world’s leading investors who are participating in this initiative. The fellowship program will welcome its first cohort in the summer of 2019, when approximately 12 fellows will participate in a custom-designed program, initially in partnership with York University’s Schulich School of Business, in Toronto. The partners will also identify other business schools in Canada and around the world who wish to participate in this program. Through a partnership with the Sustainable Infrastructure Foundation (SIF), the fellows will also receive advanced training on SIF’s leading SOURCE platform for infrastructure project development. Over the following years, the number of fellows is expected to grow to more than 30.
Opening doors: increasing career opportunities in finance for women worldwide
Despite progress, women remain underrepresented in senior corporate management everywhere, including G7 countries. Institutional investors and asset managers face challenges in this respect, and the relatively low number of women who choose careers in finance and investment is often mentioned as a significant contributing factor.
Because of their size and reach, global investors are well positioned to lead by example and exert a powerful influence on the industry. To this end, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is joining partner institutions to launch a two-pronged initiative to increase career opportunities in finance for women worldwide by:
- Committing to develop and implement diversity policies inspired from global best practices, including the 2016 IFC report SheWorks: Putting Gender-Smart Commitments into Practice; and
- Establishing and supporting a partnership with the CFA Institute and its global network of societies to set up an internship program, focusing on encouraging university women studying in developing markets to learn about, prepare for, and gain experience in the investment industry.
Speeding up implementation of uniform and comparable climate-related disclosures
The final recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (FSB-TCFD), issued in June 2017, have provided a comprehensive framework for climate-related disclosures. While there is broad agreement among global investors about the need to disclose climate-related risks and opportunities, no single methodology or approach has emerged to make disclosures easily comparable across institutions and companies.
To address this issue and move forward on the widespread implementation of the FSB-TCFD’s recommendations, partner institutions will be acting on two fronts by:
- Setting up an advisory committee, made up of representatives of the partner institutions and assisted by outside consultants, that will assess existing efforts by various groups supporting the adoption of the TCFD recommendations, leverage these efforts into a unified approach, and publish sample guidance for other institutional investors in the next few years; and
- Promote the adoption of the FSB-TCFD recommendations with portfolio companies.
Participating institutions will use their best efforts to integrate the guidance developed by the advisory committee into their upcoming FSB-TCFD disclosures. Partner institutions may also use their participation on the advisory committee as an opportunity to discuss the integration of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) into their investment process, including by reference to the World Benchmarking Alliance’s goal of publishing public league tables measuring corporate performance on the SDGs.