#MEETLFDE – Coline Pavot
What sort of professional background do you have? Why did you choose asset management?
I grew up in the shadow of Mont Blanc, in a family that was well aware of environmental causes and challenges. So, quite naturally, I set out to help build a more sustainable world. To do so, I left my comfort zone to join a preparatory school and then SKEMA Business School, where I obtained a Master’s degree in Strategic Management and Sustainable Development. During my time in school, I helped promote sustainable development within an NGO and local government agencies, as well as microcredit in India. I put into practice my vision of finance that was more socially fair and more environmentally friendly when I joined responsible investment team at BNP Paribas Wealth Management before joining the SRI team at La Financière de l’Echiquier in 2017. Since 2020 I have headed up the Responsible Investment Research team.
LFDE has formalised its impact investment doctrine. What, in your view, are the main principles of impact investing? What, in your view, are the main principles of impact investing?
The release of this doctrine is a bold move by LFDE in affirming its positioning and commitment to impact investment!
Being an impact investor is based on three fundamental notions:
1. Intentionality. The intention to generate a positive environmental and/or social impact is the starting point of any impact investment approach. It is based on some essentials, including an impact thesis, ex-ante impact objectives combined with precise indicators, and robust governance.
2. Additionality. The additional push that turns a responsible investor into an impact investor requires a full commitment, a long asset holding period, and support for companies whose impact is less direct or less visible.
3. Measurability of the impact of investments and the fund is crucial and requires transparent communication through the release of an impact report drawn up with the help of independent experts. Ex-ante impact indicators can be integrated into manager compensation packages.
If you were president of France, what would be your first act in office?
That’s hard to say. There’s so much to be done in dealing with the climate and social emergencies. I would submit a legislative bill based on the polluter/payer model in order to force companies to internalise the cost of social and environmental externalities incurred by their activities. These costs would thus no longer be borne by society and would assign greater value to some precious natural resources that are neither inexhaustible nor renewable. Tobacco producers, for example, would have to reimburse public healthcare systems for the cost of smoking. Fossil fuel producers would be forced to pay for their business’s impact on biodiversity. The prices of products and services would thus reflect their real cost to society and the environment, which would highlight the most virtuous companies and encourage the others to adopt the best practices. This is probably a utopian measure but why not dream when you’re president of France!
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