House View by the Chief Investment Office
Davos View: Why SII was this year's hot investment topic 24 January 2017 | Tags: World Economic Forum
Reading time: 6 minutes
By Simon Smiles, Chief Investment Officer for Ultra High Net Worth at UBS Wealth Management
The theme of last week's World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos was 'Responsive and responsible leadership.' For mainstream investors, this used to mean investing only in responsible companies or being responsive to unsustainable corporate behavior. In 2017, however, the mainstream is moving past that definition.
At this year's Meeting, UBS alone announced it will direct at least USD 5 billion in client money over the next five years towards impact investing, which aims to generate a deliberate and measurable social impact as well as a compelling financial return. Industry players as diverse as the Gates Foundation, the SDG Philanthropy Platform, accounting firm PwC and private equity manager TPG expressed interest in collaborating on Align17, a proposed platform driven by the World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders' program that focuses on funding the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals via impact investing as well as other forms of investment and philanthropy. UBS has also committed to help launch the platform.
Following the Brexit vote and Trump's election in 2016, many Davos headlines have inevitably focused on geopolitics, especially given Chinese President Xi Jinping's presence at Davos this year. However, the globe still faces sustainability challenges that cut across political divides. In that context, SII came into its own at the WEF Annual Meeting as the world tried to set rhetoric aside and invest in workable, impactful solutions.
"SII came into its own at the WEF Annual Meeting as the world tried to set rhetoric aside and invest in workable, impactful solutions."
What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have one simple objective: to promote global economic growth and development that is sustainable. Sustainable for whom, though?