Stockholm (NordSIP) – As we unveil the first results of the IRRI Survey’s Nordic cut, we caught up with Noora Viksten (pictured), designated winner for the Nordic Salesperson & Relationship Manager category, both by the Global and the local voters. We found out what he position entails, as well as the challenges that have kept her busy recently and what she will be focusing on next.
Armed with a Master in Business and Economics from Uppsala University and Singapore Management University, Viksten has been working in the ESG industry for the past decade, helping institutional investors integrate ESG into their investment processes. She joined MSCI four years ago, initially in the London office focusing on the UK market. She then moved to Stockholm to lead business development for the Nordic region. Before joining MSCI, Viksten worked for GES International (now Sustainalytics), a screening and active ownership services provider, focusing on the Nordic client segment. She has also engaged in the local Sustainable Investment Forums (SIFs) across the Nordic region and supported several sustainable finance initiatives over the years.
Currently, as she is responsible for MSCI’s ESG business development in the Nordic region, Viksten keeps herself busy promoting ESG integration, Climate risk, Impact and Screening research and tools across all investor types and use cases. “My main responsibilities are to manage MSCI’s Nordic client base and grow the market by educating on and raising awareness of the benefits of ESG integration,” she explains. “In addition, I am responsible for MSCI’s Stockholm office operations from a wider perspective, including index, risk analytics and portfolio management tools including private assets.”
“Given the level of knowledge and sophistication of ESG trends and approaches in the region, we see a rapidly expanding list of use cases.”
“Nordic investors play a leading role in sustainability and ESG investing in general, and it is a very exciting journey to be part of,” Viksten continues. “Given the level of knowledge and sophistication of ESG trends and approaches in the region, we see a rapidly expanding list of use cases, such as sustainability risk as part of risk management, climate change scenario testing and increased customised reporting. A client-centric and consultative approach, as well as new and innovative solutions, is key to increasing value to clients and support their long-term strategies. In addition to ESG integration, Climate risk and UN SDG adaptation are key focus areas for us in the Nordics, and we are making several exciting updates and enhancements to our solutions over the coming year.”
“Investors are moving beyond measuring their carbon footprinting to integrate climate risks and opportunities into their entire investment process.”
“Investor interest in climate change has grown significantly, and the market is demanding more advanced solutions,” says Viksten. “Investors are moving beyond measuring their carbon footprinting to integrate climate risks and opportunities into their entire investment process, including portfolio construction, risk management, benchmarking and engagement. This is all easier said than done, and that is why MSCI is doing a lot of work to develop our climate solutions. For example via the launch of our new Climate Change Indexes and the introduction of the MSCI Low Carbon Transition Score for over 8,700 companies, which is designed to enable clients to consistently measure a company’s exposure to economically relevant risks and opportunities related to a Low Carbon Transition.”
“In addition to Climate Risk, Equities and Fixed Income has been the core asset classes for ESG investing and integration. We are also seeing a clear rise in interest and shift towards private assets, which is an interesting future challenge in the ESG space,” she adds.
“‘Only reporting without an implemented measurable strategy, one could argue has potentially an element of greenwashing in it and won’t lead to change and a more sustainable world.”
“It’s important for all players in the market to move beyond the rhetoric and commit to clear actionable targets and report quantifiable and measurable results. While transparency is a great step forward, there is a growing awareness that the integration of ESG as part of the investment process can support risk management and may generate improved longer-term returns. Once the objectives and strategy are set and integrated as part of the investment process, reporting will show the results and momentum. However ‘only reporting’ without an implemented measurable strategy, one could argue potentially an element of greenwashing in it and won’t lead to change and a more sustainable world.”
Picture courtesy of Noora Viksten