In advance of the event, Delano spoke with Mario Mantrisi, general manager of Luxflag. He moderates the “Sustainable PE: a value-driven approach in building and managing portfolio companies” panel, Tuesday at 3:45pm.
Aaron Grunwald: What do you want the audience to get most from the “Sustainable PE” panel?
Mario Mantrisi: Sustainable companies already build a very strong business case, especially for long-term investments. In general, environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects are increasingly incorporated by private equity managers. Factors like climate change are now beginning to be factored in as key risk exposures but the industry needs to include those aspects at full range. Developing solutions to climate change and social inclusion brings challenges but definitely also new opportunities to the PE industry.
If you could look into your crystal ball, what will be the biggest ESG development in PE funds next year?
Green real estate and infrastructure projects will play a key role in the upcoming years. Reliable water supplies, climate change mitigation and adaptation needs are changing the infrastructure markets around the world. This field requires though a substantial expertise which translates into promising new opportunities for investors and private equity players.
From your perspective, would EU rules on ESG criteria help or hurt the PE fund sector in Luxembourg?
It’s too early to say how future EU rules will concretely affect the PE fund sector. Amendments of Mifid II will, however, set incentives for a better match-making between investors’ wishes and the investment products that fit their values. It is important that upcoming EU rules provide a framework that is adaptable in a constantly changing market driven by innovation.
Aside from your own talk at the ALFI event, which speech or panel are you most looking forward to hearing, and why?
I will definitely attend the ESG panel on Day 2. Coupling sustainability and profitability is the way to go. The message that ESG and financial performance go hand in hand must be [more clearly] communicated to the industry.