Ben Yeoh - The 50 Shades Of Green

Nov 24, 2019, 02:00 PM
Ben Yeoh is the Senior Portfolio Manager, Co-manager of Global Equities, a specialist in Healthcare and ESG Champion at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Global Asset Management (GAM UK). Ben is also a member of the Investor Advisory Group at the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). He chairs the Responsible Investment Advisory Committee at Royal London Asset Management. He is also the co-author of New Text Book on ESG Investing by the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA UK)

Highlights:
  • Looking beyond the causal drivers into more active stewardship and long term sustainability
  • There is a spectrum of capital and the markets will decide on how to react to corporates without sustainability strategy or if they decide not to price in carbon
  • A lot of companies are over-borrowing from human capital, environmental and natural capital or cutting R&D
  • ‘We want to avoid companies creating contingent liabilities or liabilities you don’t see on the balance sheet, which are typically extra financial, call them ESG.’
  • We will need abatement in hard to abate sectors like cement, fertilizers, flying, steel making, aluminum, plastics, or all that.
  • Integrated vs exclusionary ESG vs positive impact
  • Degrowth movement vs growth and decoupled growth
  • ‘You need systems thinking in combination with personal agency’
  • ‘Stewardship Code 2020 is going to be a really important piece ... because it's putting the onus on a lot of people in the investment chain to report in a much more transparent way. I'm hopeful that is going to raise the bar in terms of what we're looking for on a systems level.’
Time Stamp:
[03:38] What is sustainable and impact investing?
[04:43] Active stewardship, SDGs and long-term net benefit.
[07:08] Mark Carney on the spectrum of capital 
[09:48] RBC as a purpose-driven organisation committing $100bn in sustainable Finance by 2025
[11:00] Integrated ESG strategy with deep stewardship
[12:30] Over-borrowing from contingent liabilities and the impact on capital and returns  
[13:50] Creating sustainable capital, alpha and return 
[14:50] Active stewardship 
[16:29] How Ben started his journey into ESG and sustainability 
[19:45] Cross-silo thinking
[20:20] Informal Sustainability mingle
[22:00] Improvement of data availability and access 
[24:18] Trends and growth of sustainable assets in all classes 
[26:23] The opportunities in sustainable and impact investment
[29:00] The need for abatement on certain sectors
[31:00] What investors are looking for and is important to them
[33:00] Climate change perceptions & YALE survey
[37:50] Ben’s approach to Integrated ESG vs exclusionary vs active ownership vs positive impact
[41:00] Rotten Documentary > S2E3 - WATER
[43:50] Responsibility of businesses: Who is responsible for irresponsibility business?
[46:60] Influencing demand-side consumer behavior
[49:00] Economic approaches as solutions and interconnection with the roles of people and companies 
[51:50] Trust Barometers 
[52:10] Third party certifications > ILA & Partners, Impact Tracker, B-Corp 
[54:30] The updated UK Stewardship Code 2020
[55:10] How do we scale ?
[56:45] What inspired Ben 

Useful links:
Ben Yeoh’s Linkedin
Ben Yeoh’s personal blog - Then Do Better 

Claire Spedding Dykta of National Grid
Kate Raworth of Doughnut Economics
Tyler Cowan > Growth
Rotten Documentary - Ref: Season 2 Episode 3 > WATER
Amazon commitment to NET ZERO by 2040

7:30pm, 14th Nov 2019, Theater Delhi, London*
* More events to come. 

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