Lannebo Recruits Sustainability Leader

    Stockholm (NordSIP) – After more than sixteen years at Nordea, Katarina Hammar recently revealed that she would be moving on to take up a position as Head of Sustainability and Corporate Governance at Lannebo. NordSIP reached out to her to hear more about what swayed her to leave her current role as Head of Active Ownership for the Nordic giant bank and join a niche Swedish fund manager.

    Hammar starts by admitting that it will probably be challenging to adjust from a very large international organisation and a large team to working for a smaller actor. That said, she seems impressed by what Lannebo aims to achieve and eager to help the company get there. “The clear ambition from the board and management is to become the leader in sustainable investing among independent Swedish fund companies,” she comments. “I want to contribute to positioning Lannebo at the forefront of the green transition and help the company deliver on its sustainability commitments. I also want to ensure that sustainability and climate change come into play in everything we do,” she adds.

    With more than twenty years of experience in the financial industry, Hammar has had plenty of opportunities to hone her skills in various areas such as product development, responsible investments, active ownership, change management and leadership. Although she has spent the bulk of her career at Nordea, her previous experience includes working at an array of different organisations, from Nordic Equities Fondkommission to AP4, PWC, AMF Pension and SEB. “I have a thorough understanding of the whole value chain and sustainability structure of a fund company or an asset management, which ultimately led me to the position at Lannebo,” she says. “Throughout the years, I have witnessed how sustainability has become increasingly important for clients and other stakeholders. I am particularly proud of my Nordea team and of having achieved sustainable change and real results for our clients together with many great and knowledgeable colleagues.”

    Hammar’s commitment to sustainable investing is long-term, and she is passionate about the issues. “I strongly believe in ESG as a value driver and that it is our responsibility towards our clients to be a responsible owner and analyse ESG in order to contribute to a positive impact to the investments and in the society at large,” she says.

    Inevitably, we end up discussing the increased scrutiny from media and the regulators that sustainable investment and ESG, in particular, have attracted lately. Greenwashing allegations against financial institutions like DWS and Goldman Sachs have rattled the industry, and the provocative commentaries of HSBC’s former Global Head of Responsible Investments are still reverberating.

    “It is, of course, very serious and problematic if companies make ESG promises and promote products that can mislead clients,” comments Hammar. “I also think it is worth mentioning that there is no well-defined global standard for sustainable investments yet, which exacerbates the challenge.”

    So, what can responsible asset managers do to regain their credibility? “Trust takes a long time to build, and it can be ruined in a few seconds,” she says. “I still think it is possible to regain credibility if you start delivering on your promises and provide, again and again, concrete examples of how you have acted as a responsible owner on behalf of clients. You have to be in the forefront of the green transition and strive to demonstrate how companies that you have invested in actually contribute to reaching the Paris agreement,” concludes Hammar.

    Image courtesy of Katarina Hammar
    Julia Axelsson, CAIA
    Julia Axelsson, CAIA
    Julia has accumulated experience in asset management for more than 20 years in Stockholm and Beijing, in portfolio management, asset allocation, fund selection and risk management. In December 2020, she completed a program in Sustainability Studies at the University of Linköping. Julia speaks Mandarin, Bulgarian, Hindi, Russian, Swedish, Urdu and English. She holds a Master in Indology from Sofia University and has completed studies in Economics at both Stockholm University and Stockholm School of Economics.

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