Sanlam partners with Robeco to achieve sustainability goals

Sanlam Investments has partnered with international asset manager and pioneer in sustainable investing, Robeco, to enhance and cement their commitment to sustainable investment practices and, in turn, revitalise their purpose and create fresh impact. 

“Together, our mission is to enable clients to achieve their financial and sustainability goals by providing superior investment returns and solutions,” said Nersan Naidoo, CEO of Sanlam Investments. 

“Robeco is the perfect world-class partner to help us fast-track the integration of sustainable investing practices into every facet of our business,” he added.

He explained that rather than outsourcing sustainability mandates to Robeco, the partnership was designed to develop and enhance their skills in sustainable investing best practices.

“It will see us having access to Robeco’s platform, research and experience, which will allow us to rapidly upskill our people and help embed sustainable investing practices into our investment processes and into everything we do as a business,” he said.

Robeco has 17 offices worldwide and has $174bn in assets under management, of which $161bn is committed to ESG integration (June 2020).

As a global leader in sustainable investing since 1995, its unique integration of sustainable as well as fundamental and quantitative research enables them to offer institutional and private investors an extensive selection of active investment strategies, for a broad range of asset classes.

Malick Badjie, Managing Director and Head of Africa Distribution at Robeco, said that despite some perceptions that focusing on sustainability can impinge on profits, ESG-focused companies consistently outperform ‘for profit’ players. 

“Putting people and planet above profits has consistently proved to have a positive impact on the bottom line. Sustainably managed companies are less likely to suffer environmental accidents, major labour disputes or other issues related to unfair practices. These can all cause significant negative impacts on profits. We believe COVID-19 may have been an inflection point for many global investors.” 

Badjie said Robeco is excited about working with Sanlam Investments in both a South African but also in a wider African context.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with like-minded strategic partners such as Sanlam Investments to really advance the sustainability agenda and make our shared goals a reality.”

Naidoo added that investing for ‘more than profit’ is far more beneficial and lucrative for everyone over the long term. “Companies taking sustainability seriously today will be the ones making a big difference for tomorrow.”

Sanlam Investments previously entered into a joint venture with Climate Fund Managers in 2017 and, more recently launched the Investors’ Legacy Range as a response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The objective of the three funds in the Investors’ Legacy Range is to preserve jobs in small, medium and large companies across South Africa.

Sanlam made a R2.25bn capital investment into the funds, with additional external capital also raised. 

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