Good Timing and Positive Surprises at UBP

    Stockholm (NordSIP) – Following her recent appointment as Head of Nordics at UBP, NordSIP met with Nina Jahanbin to discuss her new role, what distinguishes UBP from other asset managers and her hopes for sustainable investing in the future.

    “Before joining UBP, I worked at Neuberger Berman and most recently PineBridge  Investments,” Jahanbin says. “The job offer from UBP came as a surprise, but the timing was perfect. After five years at PineBridge, I was ready for a new challenge, and UBP’s entrepreneurial spirit really appealed to me. There are some exciting things in the product pipeline, and I feel the Bank is moving in the right direction at the right pace.”

    Discussing what stands out at UBP, the Head of Nordics highlighted the asset manager’s decentralised approach to ESG as well as their diversified offering of sustainable products. “UBP has opted not to have a specific ESG analyst team that’s independent of an investment team. The choice was made to make sure that each individual investment team is responsible for developing its own process to integrate ESG criteria into its investment process. This has led to different approaches to sustainability that each team sees as being the best fit for their asset class.”

    “The other positive surprise is that UBP has developed a range of unique, sustainable products, including an SRI convertible bond strategy, an impact strategy in both Emerging and developed market listed equities and an EM sustainable corporate bond strategy, among others. This wide range of products demonstrates that approaches to sustainability can be rolled out across highly diverse asset classes and should not be limited to mainstream ESG integration in developed market equities.”

    According to Jahanbin, the balance between sustainability and fiduciary duty is crucial for the success of asset managers. “I think the challenges that asset managers are trying to address are largely concerned with the chance to make an impact while honouring fiduciary duties to deliver competitive returns through diversified portfolios. UBP is trying to provide investors with as many sustainable investment choices as possible across a range of asset classes, thus solving one of today’s key challenges, namely that responsible investing is all too often constrained to just a handful of asset classes.”

    The Nordic market is at the forefront of sustainable investing, Jahanbin explains. “The interest is definitely there and Nordic investors – particularly in Sweden and Denmark – have been looking at sustainability for a long time; I don’t think Nordic investors can be fooled by greenwashing! The screening processes are becoming more and more codified and standardised: in 2020, an exclusion list is not enough to say that you are proactive.”

    “It would be interesting to follow the flows into sustainable funds/impact funds over the next few years to see if people really align their investments to their values,” she concludes.

    Image courtesy of UBP



    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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