Irish pensions are skipping the leap into climate-friendly investments, missing out on expert claims

According to a senior industry figure, Irish pension managers have been slower to switch to green investing than their peers and have suffered losses as a result.

Ublin-based green investment manager KBI has secured a number of new mandates expected to be in the region of £2bn

Sean Hawkshaw, CEO of KBI Global Investors, said international investors, including family offices and pension managers, have shifted significantly as climate change moved from hypothetical real-time impacts.

“Investors may have seen this as a niche or a fringe phenomenon, but in many places, particularly in the US, they’re already living with the implications that we were talking about 20 years ago,” he said.

President Joe Biden’s Anti-Inflation Act is landmark legislation for the sector that will attract huge investments to the US, he said.

Irish pension funds have been noticeably slow to shift investment to green strategies, despite a track record of returns, he noted.

Irish pension fund management is defensive, partly because regulators are heavily focused on avoiding the type of losses seen during the last financial crisis.

But Sean Hawkshaw, whose company more than two decades ago developed a focus on investments that support and benefit from the climate change agenda, said the strategy doesn’t mean sacrificing higher financial returns.

“Irish pension funds are missing out on long-term returns.”

His firm has secured a number of new mandates in recent months, including Northern Trust Asset Management, KBIGI’s Global Sustainable Infrastructure Strategy (GSIS) for inclusion in a multi-manager infrastructure mutual fund and for distribution to its institutional OCIO customer selected;

Sun Life Global Investments (Canada), a KBIGI distributor since 2019, has also acquired GSIS; The Government of Guam Retirement Fund has given KBIGI a new institutional mandate and has chosen to invest in GSIS itself and Mediolanum International Funds Limited, part of the Italian banking group, and has appointed KBIGI as co-manager for its newly launched Circular Opportunities strategy for selected Distribution in Italy. Irish pensions are skipping the leap into climate-friendly investments, missing out on expert claims

Fry Electronics Team

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