In advance of the event, Delano spoke with María Ángeles León López of the Open Value Foundation. She speaks on “The rise of the ESG, SRI, Impact & Climate Finance: what it means for business and for our planet” panel, 7 March at 11:20am.
Aaron Grunwald: What do you want the audience to get most out of the “The rise of the ESG, SRI, Impact & Climate Finance” panel?
María Ángeles León López: For us impact finance is the most important, so we’ll be happy if the audience begins to understand that “investing” instead of “giving”, “finance” instead of “charity”, is one of the answers to solve [the problem] that 1 in every 10 people in the world live on less than $1.90 a day.
Are ESG/SRI measurement tools up to scratch? What would make them better for fund managers and for investors?
They’re not, and that’s why we spent lot of time finding one tool that will measure the KPIs we need, but won’t stifle the business in reporting. It’s important for both. The main objective here is to measure the social goals of the companies in which the fund invests. Once you have a committed fund manager, the investor should be confident. In terms of social impact measurement, would like to point to Clarity as the best provider.
Is fintech an opportunity to help grow social/impact investing?
Fintech has allowed banking to reach the poor in Kenia and Tanzania with a huge coverage (I guess it also happens in other regions), allowing other social businesses to sell and invoice services. Besides, the lack of access to a bank account makes it difficult for people to save. When illness or other shocks occur, rather than withdraw money or take a loan from the bank, people might have to take much costlier actions, such as cutting back on food consumption or removing their children from school. Fintech is allowing everyone with a mobile phone to have a bank account.
Aside from your own talk at the ALFI event, which talk are you most looking forward to hearing, and why?
The one with Hedda Pahlson-Möller [editor’s note: on the same panel], which could be more impact investment related than the others.