Stockholm (NordSIP) – With the rising momentum of ethical investing across the globe and particularly in Europe, capturing and galvanising the attention of retail investors remains the ultimate frontier. Now, a new front is about to emerge in Denmark. Ahead of its expected October launch, NordSIP caught up with Pelle Pedersen, DoLand’s Chief Impact & Growth Officer, to hear more about the company that promises to bring sustainable investment to the Danish retail market.
Walking the Walk
DoLand proposes to make it easy for everyone to get started investing sustainably. As an investment adviser licensed by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority, the company will offer its clients a digital investment solution that builds a tailor-made sustainable investment portfolio based on their sustainability preferences, personal risk appetite and finances.
“Our main focus is to build a product that is easy to engage with no matter how experienced you are,” PKA’s former Head of Responsible Investment tells NordSIP. “In order to attract people to the platform, we need to explain the product in a way that is accessible to people that might have never been interested in investing,” Pedersen adds.
“DoLand was founded by Jakob Lage Hansen who has worked in finance for over fifteen years. In 2017, Jakob decided to leave Danske Bank and pursue his ambition to start an alternative retail investment firm,” Pedersen explains. “We are currently four full-time employees, including myself, two freelancers and a board of three experts within fintech, branding and finance. I joined in September 2019 because I saw an opportunity to leverage the expertise I gained at PKA and apply it to a much wider audience while hopefully driving more sustainable investing in Denmark and abroad.”
How will it work?
To attract demand, one of DoLand’s primary efforts has been to focus on simplicity. “Investors select which themes they want to include in their investment. They then select a ratio between the themes. After, we ask several questions regarding risk appetite, experience with investing, investment horizon etc. And based on all the input, our investment engine then provides an automated investment recommendation based on the selected themes and the financials preferences of the investor,” Pedersen says.
Following the creation of the investment portfolio, DoLand also aims to continuously inform its customers about the difference their investment is making.” We are currently in negotiations with an upcoming screening agency offering individualized portfolio screenings to each investor. We will shortly be able to say more, but metrics will include fossil fuels reserves, water usage, waste generation, CO2-footprint, etc.”
Sustainable Retail Investments
Thematically, DoLand clients will be able to choose between nine themes, including renewable energy, water resources, green transition, woman empowerment, sustainable cities, electric cars and technology, healthcare innovation, health and well-being, social impact. “We use the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initially when we screen the market for products. The funds are, of course, linked to the SDGs.” According to Pedersen, more themes will be added in the future. “We are still looking for funds covering sustainable food, sustainable real estate, circular economy, microfinance, sustainable forestry.”
Access to a DoLand account will be available for as little as DKK500 (approximately €70). Clients are not expected to be bound to their account for any period of time and should be able to withdraw their money at any time. “People should be able to withdraw their money at any time,” Pedersen says. “We only invest in retail products, so there is liquidity for anyone to withdraw their investments. Currently, we have raised DKK3.2 million (soon to increase to DKK4.4 million) from angel investors. We are yet to go live with the investment solution meaning no retail investor so far has invested with DoLand. Our beta version was launched on August 17, and the platform will go live in October.”
Scalability is at the heart of DoLand’s focus. “The biggest market opportunity for sustainable investments in Denmark is amongst the current majority of Danes not investing,” he says. “Denmark does not have the type of widespread investment culture present in Sweden. Hopefully, we can change that.”
“It is clear we have to engage people in a very different way compared to what finance has done. Putting sustainable investing on the radar of people who have never thought about investing is what gets me out of bed in the morning,” Pedersen concludes.