Don’t Let People Hide Behind Excuses

    Stockholm (NordSIP) – Emilie Taube has a Master degree in Political Science from Stockholm’s University. She started her career at Försäkringskassan but then went on to private insurance and Folksam, where she became Key Account Manager and Product Owner. At Folksam, sustainability was a crucial subject already. After that, she took a position as Investor Relations at fund of hedge fund manager OPM, which has been one of the first local hedge funds to take sustainable investment at heart. Currently, Taube works as Head of Sustainability and Institutional relations at Spiltan Fonder.

    Invest in the future and demand accountability

    For Taube, sustainable investing means selecting investments that will work for the generations to come. “To do that,” she argues, “you can’t just sit there and listen to what the companies have to say. Sometimes you have to dare to be that person who asks the annoying questions. Like in the case of gender equality for example. People may think about you as a pain in the neck, but it’s important to ask the right questions, and demand accountability. The company may say that they are conscious of gender issues, but do they have a plan? They can’t just wait there for the problem to go away by itself.”

    Don’t hide behind bogus facts

    One of the issues Taube believes should be improved concretely is an apparent hypocrisy behind diversity issues. “Companies often say that they try to find women for their top jobs, but that they don’t find candidates with the right qualifications. I don’t think that we should let them hide behind these sorts of excuses. I have met senior managers and analysed entire boards where the level of competence was way below what the companies pretend is their minimum threshold. There was one company I looked at where all the board members were men born in the 70s, all of them with a Swedish upbringing. It was probably the least diverse board I had ever seen. It is still too often the case that top management or board members just hire others they are acquainted with. To change that, you have to be willing to look at the companies with a critical eye and especially to ask the annoying questions.”

    Aline Reichenberg Gustafsson, CFA
    Aline Reichenberg Gustafsson, CFA
    Aline Reichenberg Gustafsson, CFA is Editor-in-Chief for NordSIP and Managing Director for Big Green Tree Media. She has 18 years of experience in the asset management industry in Stockholm, London and Geneva, including as a long/short equity hedge fund portfolio manager, and buy-side analyst, but also as CFO and COO in several asset management firms. Aline holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a License in Economic Sciences from the University of Geneva.

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