Trill Impact Set on Creating Real Impact

    Barcelona (NordSIP) – Despite tough competition, two Nordic PRI signatories made it to the nominees’ shortlists for the prestigious PRI Awards this year. Alas, there weren’t any Nordic winners this time around. Nevertheless, NordSIP was sufficiently impressed by the worthy contestants’ sustainability efforts to decide to feature their achievements.

    One of the nominees, Trill Impact, was shortlisted in the category Real-world impact of the year. Just after the award ceremony on 1 December in Barcelona, NordSIP took the opportunity to catch up with Impact & ESG analysts Josefin Kullman and Markus Mayer from Nordea Asset Management, Impact & ESG Private Equity part of the Responsible Investment team, who work exclusively with Trill Impact.

    A strong partnership

    First things first, Kullman and Mayer get to clarify the relationship between the two organisations. “Trill Impact is supported by a dedicated team of six impact experts from Nordea Asset Management who are seamlessly integrated into Trill Impact’s Advisory team working with assessing, measuring and managing impact and ESG risks and opportunities throughout the investment advisory and active ownership process,” explains Kullman. “The Nordea Impact & ESG Team also advises Trill on reporting metrics, industry trends and regulatory changes that might have an implication for existing and potential portfolio companies,” she adds.

    Trill Impact counts Nordea’s dedicated analysts as part of their diverse team of 35 experienced professionals representing 11 nationalities. Kullman is based in Stockholm, whereas Mayers supports Trill’s second advisory office in Munich, Germany.

    To understand why Trill Impact has formed an exclusive strategic partnership with Nordea Asset Management, Mayer points out proudly the history and expertise of the team he is part of. “Nordea’s Responsible Investment team was founded in 2009. We have developed our proprietary ESG assessment and rating model and have by now longstanding experience in ESG research integration and active ownership,” he says.

    A team on a mission

    An impact house with more than EUR 1,1 billion in assets under management, Trill Impact manages several investment advisory strategies across mid-market Private Equity, Venture and Microfinance. According to both analysts, there is a true passion and strong commitment behind the manager’s mission statement, “Real Returns and Lasting Impact.”

    “The team and every building block of the impact house are designed to act as a force for change for the benefit of future generations,” says Kullman. “We aim to engage in businesses with the potential to accelerate growth, contributing to a positive impact on our planet, the people and our society.” According to Mayer, private markets have a vital role in achieving the SDGs by driving change at scale and speed, and Trill Impact believes that the sustainability revolution transforming technology and the regulatory environment will generate significant business opportunities across private market impact strategies.

    Trill Impact addresses global challenges and seeks investments that provide impactful solutions across three investment themes: Sustainable planet (Clean & efficient energy, Resource efficiency & circularity, Sustainable food & ecosystems); Healthy people (Education, Health & Wellbeing, Inclusion & Equality); and Resilient society (Sustainable communities, good governance & security).

    Why Trill?

    Having established that intentionality is unmistakably a part of Trill’s DNA, we move on to understand why this particular impact house has made it to PRI’s shortlist in 2022. The analysts guess that it was perhaps the impact manager’s unique toolbox that distinguished it from others. “It reflects a holistic view and intertwines private investment and impact analysis to support impact leadership,” says Mayer.

    According to Kullman, Trill Impact has a systematic approach to assess, address, monitor, and manage potential positive as well as negative impacts of investment opportunities. An Impact and ESG assessment is conducted for all investments during the initial screening and due diligence phase using regulatory guidance and industry frameworks. The impact outcome must be intentional, measurable, and related to prioritised issues for society and the planet, stated in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the related targets.

    PRI as inspiration

    As we meet the two analysts at PRI in Person conference, naturally, we ask them to share their impressions of the event. “I really appreciate the sessions, but most of all, I appreciate meeting peers during the breaks,” comments Kullman. Mayer, too, is grateful for the rather long networking slots between sessions. “It is a great opportunity to get to know people working with sustainability from the whole world. You also get a feeling for what drives the industry right now,” he says. “There are still more questions than answers, I would say, but it is thrilling to witness progress happening in real-time.”

    The analysts admit that it is not always easy to see the practical implications of the rather broad and high-level topics covered at the conference. Yet they appreciate the value of an in-person event, even beyond the networking opportunities. “We are also here to gather inspiration for our future work, and there have certainly been plenty of stimulating discussions and innovative reports to get inspired by,” concludes Kullman.

    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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