– For investors who do not know what impact investing is. What is it and how is it different from ESG investing?
– Actually, it is like an extension of ESG investing, that is, it is going a little further, but it falls into this category. Impact investing consists of making investments with the objective of generating both a positive impact on the social and environmental aspects and, at the same time, obtaining a healthy financial return. What must be considered when making or managing impact investments is to analyze the purpose that companies have with their products and services.
Their intention, therefore, is to go further because many companies say they want to do good for society and the environment and, if you analyze what is underneath, what they proposed has not been done. For this reason, impact investing goes further than socially responsible investment, within the same category, because it measures the intentionality of companies when it comes to achieving their objectives.
– What advantages does it bring to the investor? Can it be said that higher returns are already achieved with this type of fund?
– The truth is that a substantial difference is not achieved, but last year there were issues such as investment in renewables, alternative energies or green issues that clearly obtained returns well above normal. Instead, this year these investments have suffered more.
I would not analyze it for the part of the investment result from the financial point of view, that is, to have a percentage of profitability, but actually, in addition to this, we are helping to achieve certain objectives that otherwise would not be achieved as the improvement of the environment, the situation of society, disabled people or that there are more women in companies, that there is no difference in wages between one party and another …
All of these kinds of things are what really benefit the investor in impact investing. It is something more qualitative than quantitative.
– What does OFI Asset Management contribute to the impact investing universe?
– OFI is a French management company that has been around for many years, due to the nature of its shareholders and the people who work in it, very close to the social economy. Its shareholders are French insurance mutuals, that is, like Mutua Madrileña for example in Spain and these mutuals, as I have said, are very close to the social economy.
Their mutual members are very ordinary workers, like us and, in that sense, there is a bias to make investment decisions that go beyond financial profitability and focus more on aspects such as seeing the positive impacts of products and services, Results and the impact that companies make have issues such as the energy transition, the preservation of natural resources, health and well-being and social inclusion. These are the four key elements used to add value to OFI’s investments.
– How is the selection of assets of the OFI AM managers?
– The idea is to measure the contribution that companies make in relation to the issues I have mentioned before, that is, the issues that are reflected in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), that is, the energy transition, the preservation of natural resources, health and well-being, not only of humans but also of the animal part, which is having more and more weight, and social inclusion that is really one of the great objectives of the impact investing. In fact, when one analyzes the world of this type of investment, we see that depending on the geographical areas where impact investors work, they pay more attention to one side than the other.
In the case of OFI, being of French origin, the issue of social inclusion and the social elements of investments are absolutely top-notch. So, the selection basically consists of seeing what is the intention of the companies in which OFI is going to invest with respect to whether the companies are doing the energy transition issues perfectly, if they are really involved in preserving natural resources, if they are right. true including people from across the spectrum of society… and that intentionality is what really matters when selecting the securities to enter the impact fund portfolios.