1. How is the new ESG related regulatory agenda impacting European investment offerings?
10 March 2021 marked the start of the implementation of The Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, which is the backbone of the European Commission’s 2018 Action Plan for financing sustainable growth. The regulation requires greater transparency from all financial markets participants on the degree of sustainability of financial products, with the objective of channelling private investment towards sustainable investing while preventing 'greenwashing'.
The implications of the new ESG regulation on companies are very important, as they establish a global framework for disclosures, taxonomy, suitability and product oversight, while supporting investors to channel their funds into solutions which are in line with their very own values and ideas about ESG.
2. How is this specifically impacting your company?
From a servicing perspective, insurance providers such as Lombard International Assurance have an active role to play in order to support their clients and partners in making the shift towards a more sustainable finance. We must show the suitable level of transparency, guidance, reporting and future offerings to clients and partners.
This goes from adapting our client-related documentation, to the provision of respective investment solutions, to monitoring and ESG-reporting and last but not least, to developing – in close collaboration with our global partners – ESG-compliant products and investment solutions.
At Lombard International Assurance, a multi-disciplinary working group of experts from all relevant departments has been created to efficiently manage these working streams at a global company level, not only ensuring compliance with regulation but identifying ways to create value for our clients and partners.
3. What are the steps ahead and what are you aiming to achieve?
Clearly, our ambition goes beyond just complying with regulation. We care about our footprint and ESG principles are already embedded in our corporate strategy and vision for the future. Having defined targets on Environmental, Social and Governance issues is crucial for us and for any company wishing to contribute to the greater good of our societies.
For that purpose, we are already disclosing respective ESG information on our corporate website and have further updated pre-contractual product information.
By January 2022, we will be applying the content and format for disclosures as specified by European Supervisory Authorities.
And as of next year, we will start to collect ESG preferences for all new clients and existing ones who wish to.
Embedding ESG factors into our global wealth planning and investment solutions is important, not only for us, but above all for our clients and partners, and for the communities we live in.