23 March 2007 | São Paulo, Brazil

The United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the Brazilian Association of Investment Banks (ANBID) are joining forces in order to initiate open discussions and awareness-raising on the topic of sustainable investment in the context of the Brazilian private banking sector. At this initial roundtable, kindly hosted by ANBID, a panel of Brazilian and international private bankers, asset managers and environmental risk experts analyzed the links between responsible investment, sustainability and financial performance and identified the resulting breadth of opportunities for relationship banks in an emerging economy such as Brazil’s. The general conclusion of the roundtable was that not only institutional investors but also HNWIs (High Net Worth Individuals) are progressively realizing the importance of ESG-inclusion for long-term investment performance. The latter are increasingly demanding investment products that combine financial with environmental / social returns, especially within their intergenerational succession and long-term wealth management. This demand is expected to grow especially among HNWIs in emerging economies where social inequality and environmental degradation due to economic growth are more severe and obvious than in other industrialized parts of the world. Panellists were:

  • Pedro Bastos, CEO of HSBC Investments in Brazil
  • Sylvia Coutinhou, CEO Of HSBC Private Bank in Brazil
  • Xavier Desmadryl, Head of Global SRI Research at HSBC Investments and Co-chair of UNEP FI’s Asset Management Working Group
  • Luiz Maia, Director for Investment Management at Riobravo Investments
  • Christopher Wells, Environmental Risk Manager for Latin America at ABN Amro Banco Real Brasil and Chair of UNEP FI’s Latin American Task Force.
The panel and public discussions were moderated by Leo Johnson, Sustainable Finance. UNEP FI’s ongoing outreach-strategy in private banking was initiated via a Roundtable held in Geneva at the Palais des Nations in November 2006. The event in São Paulo represents a logical further step in order to address the mutual significance of both sustainability and financial performance for High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) in an emerging economy. It is in Brazil and other emerging markets where both HNWI populations and wealth – and with that, competition among private banks and a resulting need for differentiation – are growing the fastest. The next steps of this strategy will be aimed at bringing together HNW client groups and the respective private banks as their financial intermediaries / trustees on the one hand with vehicles and companies that offer opportunities for sustainable investment on the other.




Remco Fischer, Coordinator