Overview of Affirmative Investment Management
Managing Partner, Stephen Fitzgerald provides an overview of Affirmative Investment Management.
Affirmative Investment Management (AIM) is a global fixed income manager focussed on delivering mainstream market returns with impact. AIM is the world’s first fund manager to dedicate their investment strategy to impact bonds (i.e. labelled green bonds, social bonds and sustainable bonds). AIM's innovative formula is a fusion of mainstream portfolio management and sustainability. This approach is new in the marketplace and draws on the experience of a team of leading experts in investment and sustainability, providing positive solutions to global challenges. AIM’s focus is to promote robust verification and reporting, along with active engagement, whilst ensuring repeatable performance and sustainable impact.
Established in 2014 by Stephen Fitzgerald and Stuart Kinnersley, AIM is 100% owned by its employees and headquartered in London, with offices in Washington and Sydney. AIM is comprised of like-minded investment professionals who are advocates for social and environmental change. The company was instrumental in the evolution of green bonds and has the longest track record in the impact bond market.
Colonial First State’s Alliance Partnership with AIM gives Australian retail investors access to an innovative approach that fuses mainstream portfolio management and sustainability.
AIM’s investment approach embeds sustainability criteria at the core of its investment process, with an investable universe of impact bonds (including labelled and unlabelled green bonds, social bonds and sustainable bonds) that have passed an Environment, Social, Governance (ESG) and sustainability screen. The verification process is one of positive selection to identify and verify issues and issuers that deliver a meaningful and measurable impact. AIM invests in bonds that fulfil their sustainability criteria, which cover a broad range of factors such as credit worthiness of the issuer, environment/social benefits and ability to determine that proceeds are dedicated to positive impact.
AIM’s investment philosophy is based on three core commitments:
Stephen has over 30 years’ experience in funds management. He serves on the boards of QBE Insurance Group, Lombard Odier Asset Management, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and the British Museum Investment Sub-Committee. In Australia, he is also a member of the NSW Government Expert Advisory Panel on Social Impact Bonds and, since its inception in April 2010, has been a Male Champion of Change (MCC). Stephen was an appointed member of the Board of Guardians of the Future Fund (Australia’s Sovereign Wealth Fund) and served for a period of five years until April 2016.
Previously, Stephen was Chairman of Goldman Sachs, Australia and New Zealand. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1992, as Chief Investment Officer for International Fixed Income and Currency within GSAM and has since been based in London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney and served on the firm’s Partnership Committee, European Management Committee and Asia Pacific Management Committee.
Stuart’s career spans three decades and he has unique experience in fund management and impact investment. Prior to joining AIM, Stuart served as CIO and, subsequently, CEO at Nikko Asset Management Europe, where he developed the concept and created the world’s ﬁrst green bond fund, in close conjunction with the World Bank.
Having advised and worked with some of the oldest and largest sovereign wealth funds, global supra-national pension funds and foundations, Stuart has become a vocal advocate for channelling and mobilising more of the world’s capital in a positive and sustainable way through mainstream investing.
Stuart has been an invited speaker at major industry conferences on a variety issues from Emerging Markets to Asset Allocation and, more recently, as a leader in the field of sustainable finance and green bonds.
Judith is one the leading pioneers and thought leaders in the green bond market. She has over 30 years’ experience in the industry and has worked in both the public and private sectors on corporate sustainability and setting environmental investment criteria and standards.
Judith is founder and former head of the World Bank’s Corporate Responsibility team, which was responsible for tracking the environmental impacts of the World Bank’s day-to-day operations, including its greenhouse gas emissions. Under Judith’s leadership, the team launched sustainability reporting at the World Bank, applying international standards such as GRI and CDP, and advised the UN on their Sustainable UN initiatives.
Partnering with World Bank Treasury’s Capital Markets Department, Judith developed the first green bonds, including defining the criteria for and selecting the eligible portfolio of projects, while promoting portfolio transparency and reporting.
Justin has extensive experience managing multi-currency fixed income portfolios across the yield curve, gained throughout his 30-year career. As a portfolio manager at Aviva Investors and, subsequently, Nikko Asset Management, Justin worked with a broad range of clients, from captive insurance funds and retail portfolios to institutional mandates. He has managed both single and multi-currency portfolios, in both developed and emerging markets, across all maturities, including money market funds.
In 2010 Justin became the lead portfolio manager of the world’s first green bond fund, World Bank Green Bond Fund, and is the most experienced investment practitioner in the marketplace in terms of running a dedicated green bond portfolio successfully against a recognised standard benchmark.
Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFSL 232468 (Colonial First State) is the issuer of the FirstChoice range of super and pension products from the Colonial First State FirstChoice Superannuation Trust ABN 26 458 298 557. Colonial First State also issues interests in products made available under FirstChoice Investments and FirstChoice Wholesale Investments. This is based on the understanding of current regulatory requirements and laws as at the date of publication. While all care has been taken in the preparation of this document (using sources believed to be reliable and accurate), to the maximum extent permitted by law, no person including Colonial First State or any member of the Commonwealth Bank group of companies, accepts responsibility for any loss suffered by any person arising from reliance on this information. This information for the adviser only and is not to be handed on to any investor. It does not take into account any person’s individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Financial Services Guide (FSG) before making any recommendations to a client. Clients should read the PDS and FSG before making an investment decision and consider talking to a financial adviser. The PDS and FSG can be obtained from colonialfirststate.com.au or by calling us on 13 18 36.
From time to time, Colonial First State enters into alliance partnerships with dedicated and experienced investment specialists. Each alliance represents an agreement for Colonial First State to provide third party distribution services within the Australian Financial Services intermediary market.