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Globalance Bank: Investing in a better future

A profile of Globalance - Finance for the Future 2019 award winners.

Winner: Investing and financing award

What

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Globalance Bank is an owner-managed Swiss private bank with a mission to educate, inspire and empower investors to invest in a positive future. Globalance’s investment approach is fully geared towards building a sustainable, positive and resilient world. To do this, it finds and invests in ‘future movers’ – companies creating positive impact by anticipating and responding to worldwide trends.

The innovative Global Footprint® model shows investors the full footprint of their assets. A digital dashboard displays the impact of customers’ investments, separated by the categories of economy, society and environment. Sustainability underpins all Globalance’s portfolios and investment strategies, which are aligned with the UN’s 2°C climate target and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) more broadly.

Although its approach to wealth management is driven by sustainability, Globalance positions itself as a mainstream private bank appealing to a broad audience. By demonstrating that sustainable investment strategies can yield strong financial returns, Globalance aims to create a paradigm shift towards sustainability in the financial sector.

All Globalance’s wealth management and investment activities are designed to promote a better future through sustainable investing and financing.

Why

Globalance believes that wealth should generate financial returns but also exert a positive effect on the world. Money has the power to shape the world for good or ill; as an organisation focused on sustainable wealth management, Globalance is well placed to deploy wealth where it can have a positive impact.

By rigorously assessing its investments using sustainability as well as financial criteria, Globalance invests in well-managed, resilient companies – companies that are working to overcome the challenges our planet is facing. Globalance believes that by creating sustainable investment portfolios comprised of these companies, it can leverage wealth to do good while successfully managing risk and driving returns.

Globalance also believes that it can use its influence as a pioneering long-term investor to create change in the wider market, creating more opportunities for sustainable investment.

How

Globalance has used the following methods to integrate sustainability into its investing and financing activities:

  • Globalance seeks out innovative companies to invest in that are responding successfully to challenging global trends, such as climate change and resource scarcity.
  • Globalance looks at the holistic risk, return and impact of each potential investment. Its valuation approach examines the total footprint, expected financial returns and whether the company is ‘future fit’.
  • To make investment decisions replicable, Globalance seeks out the best quantitative data, working with a third-party provider of big data to get a more complete picture.
  • Each year, Globalance engages directly with a select few companies, asking questions and looking beyond published data to discover the quantitative potential of the investment.
  • To diversify and reduce risk, Globalance portfolios include low-correlation assets such as microfinance funds. Microfinance funds develop financial markets in underserved areas while offering stable rates of return and a different risk profile.
  • In its portfolios, the 2°C climate target is applied as a rule. But Globalance’s approach goes beyond this, bringing in multiple aspects of sustainability and integrating the SDGs into how the bank defines portfolio impact.
  • Globalance aims to appeal to the mainstream private finance market. The bank offers market returns to an audience that may not have sought out sustainable finance but appreciates its added value. In this way, Globalance helps to develop the market for sustainable investing.
  • Transparency is a driving principle of how Globalance communicates with its customers. Its Global Footprint gives investors the tools to follow their investments in real time, and understand the full footprint – economic, social, environmental – of their portfolio.
  • Much of Globalance’s growth has come from referrals, with its clients now the bank’s best ambassadors.
  • Globalance plans to scale up by replicating its model in partnership with other private banks.