Why?… but of Course!

    Stockholm (NordSIP) – Ulrika Hasselgren has just started as Head of Responsible Investment at Danske Bank since February 1, 2018. She works within asset management to implement the bank’s sustainable and impact investing strategy. At the same time, she needs to ensure that there is an alignment within the bank to integrate corporate responsibility in its core business and make its expertise available for the benefit of the societies where it operates. Since 1999, before joining Danske Bank, Hasselgren has worked as an advisor to institutional investors and managers in the areas of developing and implementing strategies and programs for sustainable and responsible investment.

    Invest sustainably while generating competitive returns

    “When our customers entrust us with their savings and assets, we must serve their interests by creating both competitive and sustainable returns from our investments. A cornerstone of this investment commitment is to assess environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors alongside financial factors, and pay due attention to both risks and opportunities associated with our investments. We deal with all these matters from a holistic perspective, integrated into our investment process, and with a focus on dialogue with companies and stakeholders. We are developing our ability to measure the impact of our investments, which is part of our strategy to further our commitment to sustainability and responsible investment.”

    A good policy is a platform to stand on

    “I always suggest putting thorough efforts into policy development as I see that as the basis for a solid foundation. It gives you a platform to stand on, act on, and develop from. I encourage every investor and asset manager to elaborate – and conclude – what sustainable investing mean for them, and implement a strategy based on this. There is no one size fits all, but as awareness and expectations in the market are high today, it it is important to be able to tell the story in a clear way to meet customer needs and address stakeholder expectations.”

    Attracted by a real commitment

    “I have had the opportunity to get to know many investors and asset managers from all categories, and around the world. I have great respect for the vast expertise in the industry. I always try to understand investors and their interest and commitment to sustainable investing. Hence, I was totally triggered to join Danske Bank as a member when I understood the real commitment from the bank’s board and top management. Personal commitment from leadership has fuelled my passion for the investment industry since 1999, as I think it always opens the door for innovation and solutions development to serve customers, make a difference, and support thought leadership.”

    Changing the hedge funds’ view

    “A specific example of a project I did before joining Danske bank, was the assessment of hedge fund managers and the broader spectrum of alternative assets managers and their view on, and approach to sustainability. When we did the first assessment in 2014, the reaction was ‘why on earth are you doing this?’ and when we did the second assessment in 2017, the reaction as ‘but, of course!’. This changed reaction made me happy, and tells me that investors, regardless of size can have a positive impact when you focus on constructive dialogue with asset managers on the forward-looking efforts and the dynamics in the process.”

    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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