- Two European investment companies, behind a dynamic joint venture partnership forging new ground in the global sustainable investing field, will sign Japan’s Stewardship Code
Paris head-quartered La Française, a US$54 billion multi asset-class manager (as at 31/12/2014), and London-based Inflection Point Capital Management (IPCM), a specialist firm focused on responsible, long-term Strategically Aware Investment (SAI), will commit to the 7 point voluntary Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) Code as the latest international signatories.
During the week of February 9th, a series of events are planned by La Française and IPCM in Tokyo, to commemorate the important step they are taking in signing the Stewardship Code. Ahead of the pivotal United Nations climate change summit scheduled for Paris in late 2015, the threats and opportunities for investors of global warming along with the greening of real estate assets will be a focus of the La Française and IPCM week in Japan.
Dr. Matthew Kiernan, Founder and Chief Executive of IPCM, currently advising on a roughly US$1 billion La Française Inflection Point global equities portfolio, explained: "The Stewardship Code highlights remarkable vision by the Japanese Government to pro-actively promote good governance, along with world class environmental and social practices, as a route to greater Japanese corporate success in a highly competitive global economy. IPCM is delighted to become a signatory to the Code today."
Xavier Lépine, Chairman of La Française, commented: "We view the Japanese investment market and the influence of Japanese investors and companies around the world as a crucial component of 21st Century global economic vibrancy, financial stability and balanced growth. It is a genuine honour for La Française to become a signatory to the FSA's Stewardship Code."
"Along with transparency and good governance there are a broad range of new challenges for global investors such as climate change, resource depletion, ecosystems destruction and human rights issues in corporate value chains, " added Mr Lépine. "As signatories to the Code, La Française’s knowledge will deepen and that will help our work with Dr. Kiernan and the IPCM team to create new investment opportunities for our clients and partners. Both the new Japanese Code and the country's diplomatic success in delivering the 1997 UN Kyoto Protocol on climate change mark Japan out as a forward-looking global force as we seek to balance economy and environment." 2 Paul Clements-Hunt, the original United Nations backer of the 2006 launched UN Principles for Responsible Investment (www.unpri.org), now backed by institutions representing US$45 trillion in assets, commented: "La Française and IPCM signing Japan’s Stewardship Code sends the strongest of signals of just how important this development in Japan is for global investment markets. The positive revolution unleashed by the three arrows of Abenomics is attracting the attention of the most sophisticated and forward-looking investors worldwide."
Clements-Hunt, who left the UN in 2012 after heading the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative for 12 years, is an IPCM Principal and Director, and advises La Française on Special Global Projects.
The FSA Code, capturing a set of Principles detailing sound approaches to responsible investment, was developed by a Japanese Government convened Expert Committee during 2013-2014 and was launched in February 2014. The Code allows large Japanese investment institutions, such as pension funds and insurance companies, to highlight their commitment to include a range of governance, environmental and social considerations in their long-term investment policy-making and investment decision-making. An increasing number of international institutions are now signing the Code.
La Française and IPCM, whose joint venture asset management company La Francaise Inflection Point (LFIP) was created in December 2013, are also taking a thought leadership role in the fast evolving, multi-US$ billion carbon investment space ahead of the pivotal United Nations climate summit that will convene in Paris in late November 2015. La Française and IPCM recently hosted a climate-investment focused dinner at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
In Tokyo on February 10th La Française and IPCM's most senior executives will present on "From Kyoto to Paris: A Blueprint for Climate Success", referencing the 1997 UN Kyoto Protocol agreement that created global carbon markets. During the Tokyo presentation La Française and IPCM will also introduce their Carbon Zero investment approach and cutting edge work to engineer Green Real Estate Investment Trusts.