Stockholm (NordSIP) – Storebrand Asset Management has appointed Kamil Zabielski as Head of Sustainable Investments, filling a position that had been left vacant when Matthew Smith moved to KPMG in October 2020. Zabielski joins Storebrand from the Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency where he held a similar position and will start his new position on February 1st.
“We are very happy to have Kamil onboard. He brings valuable experience in sustainable finance and ESG research to the team as he takes on the leadership role. His international experience is very valuable as we continue to strengthen our position outside our home markets of Norway and Sweden,” says Jan Erik Saugestad, CEO of Storebrand Asset Management.
Zabielski is from Canada and holds an LL.M in International Law and an M.Phil in Human Rights from the University of Oslo. During his ten years at the Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency, he worked as an ESG specialist in human rights, due diligence assessment, before being appointed Head of Sustainability in December 2015. Prior to that Kamil worked at Council on Ethics in the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global.
Continuity, Regulation and Active Ownership
In the short term, Zabielski’s attention seems to be focused on continuity, regulatory developments, and active ownership. “Storebrand Asset Management is recognized as a Nordic leader in sustainable investments and is in a position, to grow even further. Storebrand has been in the field for many years but the work that is being done on sustainability is undoubtedly more relevant than ever. I am eager to get on board and get to know the team and the organisation. The team that I will be joining is highly competent and experienced, so I am very much looking forward to embarking on the journey with them,” Zabielski says.
“Storebrand has a tradition of constant development and innovation and I am confident we will continue to provide cutting-edge knowledge and products to the market. Storebrand launched a climate strategy last year that we will follow up on and continue to implement,” he tells NordSIP.
“The EU Sustainable Finance [regulatory package] will of course be important going forward. It is a driver for change in the market that will contribute and improve the way we assess companies and label funds. I hope that my experience within ESG analysis and research can contribute to us taking leadership here,” Zabielski says.
“Storebrand is in many ways a pioneer and a leader in the field of sustainable investments, a position I hope to contribute to strengthening together with the team,” he adds. “One of my main focuses will be to strengthen the good work on active ownership and public policy dialogue that has been done by the team. This is something I have experience with from many years of dialogue with companies through financing activities at the Norwegian Export Credit Agency and work within the OECD.”
“Active ownership and strategic alliances will be even more important going forward in accelerating the green transition. There is a lot we can do on our own, but we are much more powerful in numbers,” Zabielski explains.
Beyond the Horizon
Looking further ahead to the long term landscape of sustainable finance, Zabielski highlights the significance of specific investment themes as well as the importance of taking a holistic approach to ESG going forward.
“The sustainable investment trend is here to stay and will be more important in all asset classes. Biodiversity and natural resources are themes that we see are becoming more urgent to tackle and critical to our investments so this is something we will put even more focus on,” he says.
“There has been a lot of focus on the E in ESG in recent years, which is good but as an asset manager, it is important to apply a holistic approach and understand how the E and the S and the G interact and depend on each other. I also think there will be more focus on the creation of long-term value and investments that positively impact societies and the environment that we pass on to future generations, as reflected in the SDGs,” Zabielski explains.
“Interest in sustainable investments is increasing among both retail and professional investors as well as regulators and companies themselves. In addition to deep knowledge on sustainability this requires constant innovation and out-of-the-box thinking which makes this job very exciting,” he concludes.
Image courtesy of Storebrand Asset Management