Stockholm (NordSIP) – After working as ESG Manager at the Danish MP Pension, Anna Maria Fibla Møller (pictured) moved on to a new challenge at P+, the Danish occupational pension fund for academics. We took this opportunity to catch up with her and talk about the exciting journey ahead.
“I had a fantastic time at MP Pension,” starts Fibla Møller. “I was in charge of the ESG rating of external asset managers and conducting ESG due diligence of new asset managers, funds and investments. Conducting the ESG rating of managers gave me the possibility to develop in-depth knowledge across the different asset classes as well as increase the level of ESG integration through close cooperation with the other members of the investment team. Previously, I also worked at the Danish Export Credit Agency (EKF) where I was conducting Environmental and Social due diligence for Corporate finance and Project Finance projects. This experience provided me with strong insights on how to identify and mitigate environmental and social risks when financing projects across different sectors.”
Time for change
“At the beginning of 2020, I felt that I was ready for a new challenge and to take over new responsibilities,” Fibla Møller continues. “I got the chance to do that when a job opening at P+ came along, and I started working there 1st of April. The position will allow me to lead exciting ESG areas such as climate and human rights. I will continue to focus on P+ asset managers to better understand their level of ESG integration in their investment decisions and active ownership activities. We believe that this is an essential exercise for Asset Owners ESG due diligence.”
Focus on Active Ownership & Engagement
For Fibla Møller, the most exciting part of sustainable investing is where she and her organisation can have a positive effect on how companies operate, encouraging them to perform better in the ESG dimensions. “Prioritizing our engagement efforts is always an interesting challenge when monitoring our portfolios,” she explains. “I believe that international standards and guidelines are a helpful point of departure, which provide us with guidance on how to identify ESG negative impacts from a rights holder perspective across asset classes. International guidance lays out the different options that asset owners may use to mitigate those impacts. In practice, the options for investors to exercise leverage to mitigate negative impacts can be complicated and will often require you to explore different options. Our asset manager ESG ratings and continuous portfolio monitoring are an essential exercise to support our active ownership efforts.”
Cooperation Key to Apply Complex Measures
When it comes to integrating the recent developments in reporting and measurement, Fibla Møller points out that the financial industry still has a long road ahead. “Including climate financial risk considerations in our investment decisions is key, but it can be challenging,” she says. “Measuring climate financial risk impacts at a portfolio level is a complex exercise and more work needs to be done to define robust methodologies across the different asset classes in line with the TCFD recommendations. I believe that cooperation among investors and asset managers will be crucial to collectively respond to the climate change challenge, and I look forward to cooperating with other investors on this topic as part of my new responsibilities.”
A silver lining
COVID-19 has disturbed the lives of everyone, but Fibla Møller tries to focus on the positives while looking forward to coming back to a more normal daily routine. “The current pandemic has been quite an interesting ‘learning by doing’ exercise,” she explains. “It was difficult for me to imagine that the whole financial industry could keep on working remotely. Nevertheless, our business is still on, and people have quickly found solutions. Video calls and webinars might be a larger part of our ways of working permanently. I feel that this way of meeting often turns out more efficient, but being social by nature, I have lacked the personal interaction with colleagues. I have enjoyed the flexibility of working from home to do more activities with my kids, but at the same time, I appreciate that things are starting to get back to normal,” Fibla Møller concludes.
Picture courtesy of P+